Published On: July 19th, 2021

Rockford’s 11-7 loss to the Kokomo Jackrabbits on Sunday afternoon at Rivets Stadium had two distinct halves. In the first 5 innings, the Rivets shutout the Jackrabbits 3-0, behind Michael Oh (Jr, North Carolina) facing the minimum number of batters. From the 6th inning on, Kokomo outscored Rockford 11-4.

The loss splits the two game series between Rockford and Kokomo and drops the Rivets’ second half record to 6-8 entering this week’s All-Star Break. 

Rockford backed up Oh’s stellar early performance with runs in the 1st, 2nd and 4th innings- scoring on a wild pitch, a Wade Elliott (So, Louisiana Tech) RBI groundout and a bases loaded walk from Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State). 

Kokomo broke through against Oh in the 6th, scoring on a 2 RBI single off the bat of Jakob Marsee (R-Fr, Central Michigan). The Rivets got both of the runs back in the bottom of the inning on a line-drive double to right field by Brian Fuentes (R-Fr, Indiana State). 

Oh returned for the top of the 7th inning, with Rockford leading 5-3. Oh allowed the first two runners to reach via a hit and an error that could’ve been a double play ball – but it was the least of the Rivets’ trouble in the frame. 

Two straight pitchers entered the game without recording an out. Brendan Lawry (So, Waubonsie Valley CC) walked both batters he faced, allowing two runs. Ryan Green (Jr, Concordia-Wisconsin) followed by letting up two hits and one run. 

Brett Taucher (R-Jr, Quincy) took over from there, walking in a run before recording all three outs in the inning after 5 scored to give Kokomo a 7-5 lead. 

Rockford responded with another Urdaneta bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 7th and a pinch-hit, game tying single in the 8th inning by Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech). The 8th inning rally ended with runners on 2nd and 3rd, keeping the game tied at 7 into the 9th. 

After Jake Armstrong (R-So, UW-Milwaukee) pitched a scoreless 8th and recorded the first out of the 9th, he walked Adam Crampton (So, Stanford) to put the go-ahead run on base. 

Rivets manager JT Scara then handed the ball to the usually unflappable Tucker Shalley (Fr, Parkland College). After allowing a single, Shalley’s run with a 0.00 ERA came to an end, as he allowed four runs to score – two of them charged as earned runs to his line. 

The Rivets went down without much trouble in the bottom of the 9th, entering the All-Star Break on a whimper. 

After three days off, Rockford will return to action on Thursday at 6:05 to host the Kenosha Kingfish. 

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