Pit Spitters shut out Rivets

By Larry Larson

Despite a promising start, the Rivets offense never got going and Traverse City defeated Rockford 8-0 on Monday night at Rivets Stadium. The loss marks back-to-back defeats for Rockford, while the Pit Spitters snapped a 4-game losing streak. 

Rivets starter Michael Oh (Jr, North Carolina) surrendered two runs in the 1st inning to open an early deficit. The tallies mark the 96th and 97th that the Rivets’ pitching staff has allowed in the first two innings of games this season. 

In the bottom half of the 1st, Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech) reached on a walk and Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, South Florida) was hit with a pitch. Both moved into scoring position on a passed ball, but the Rivets couldn’t capitalize. 

Tommy Benson (R-Fr, Triton) sent a ground ball to third, and Matulia was caught in between third and home for the first out, and Cantu was unable to advance. Brian Fuentes (R-Fr, Indiana State) then grounded into another fielder’s choice for the second out, before Joaquin Monque (Fr, South Florida) struck out to end the frame. 

In the bottom of the 2nd, the inning started in similar fashion, as Brody Harding (So, Illinois) singled and Johannes Haakenson (Jr, Concordia-Wisconsin) walked and both moved into scoring position on a passed ball. 

Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State) chopped a grounder to third, which caught Harding in between 3rd and home for the first out, but a rundown allowed Haakenson to move to 3rd base. Jake Donahue (Fr, Central Michigan) bounced another grounder to 3rd, and Christian Faust (Jr, Grand Valley State) fired home to catch Haakenson. Donahue was caught stealing at 2nd to end the inning. 

The rest of the game, Rockford would total 9 runners left on base – 6 of which in scoring position. 

On the other side of the scorebook, Traverse City scattered runs throughout the line score with 1 in the 3rd and 5th, and two in the 6th and 7th to pile on. 

Oh would be handed the loss, after he allowed 6 runs in 6 innings of work. The Pit Spitters totaled 13 hits against the Rivets’ pitching staff, marking the 6th game of 7 in the second half that Rockford has allowed double digit hits. 

The Rivets will get another shot at Traverse City tomorrow night at 6:05 at Rivets Stadium before hitting the road for a four-game series with Kalamazoo.