By Larry Larson
Despite a rock-solid start from Shemar Page (Jr, Louisiana Tech), Rockford’s offense never got going and fell to Traverse City 4-0 on Sunday evening at Turtle Creek Stadium. The loss marks back-to-back losses to the Pit Spitters to drop the Rivets’ second half record to 7-11.
After Traverse City threatened in the 1st and Rockford stranded Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) in scoring position following a leadoff double in the top of the 2nd, TC struck first in the bottom of the 2nd.
Page surrendered an RBI double to Crews Taylor (R-Jr, North Georgia) to open a 1-0 lead. From there, it was lights out for the righty, as he twirled 6 innings of one run, five hit ball.
Unfortunately for Rockford, it was more of the same on the other side of the scorecard. Pit Spitters starter Jeremy Neff (R-Fr, Richmond) tossed 5.2 scoreless innings, striking out six Rivets while walking none.
Rockford threatened in the 6th, stringing back to back hits, forcing Traverse City to go to the bullpen. However, William Mabrey (So, Tennessee) averted further trouble by forcing a pop out to end the inning.
After Page finished his outing with a scoreless 6th, All-Star righty Ross Thompson (R-Jr, Heidelberg) came on for his first relief appearance of the summer in the 7th inning. Thompson struggled, allowing two runs in the 7th and one more in the 8th to increase the deficit to 4-0.
The Rivets went down without trouble in the 8th and 9th, leading to the team’s 12th consecutive loss against the Pit Spitters – a streak that dates back to July 2019.
Tomorrow, the Rivets will open a two game series with the first-place Kokomo Jackrabbits, who hold a 5 game lead on Rockford in the Great Lakes East. First pitch is set for 6:30 ET, 5:30 CT.