After falling early but coming back to tie the game, the Rockford Rivets surrendered 8 runs in two innings in the 6th and 7th to fall to the Kokomo Jackrabbits 12-4 on Tuesday night at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. The loss is Rockford’s fourth straight – all during a four game road trip.
Lefty Jared Herzog (Fr, Rockford University) took the ball for Rockford and struggled in the 1st, allowing a grand slam off the bat of Martin Vinccelli-Simard (So, Sacramento State) to put the Rivets in an early 4-0 hole.
Over the next few innings, the Rivets fought back into the game, though. In the 2nd, the Rockford scored its first run thanks to an RBI infield single from Johannes Haakenson (Jr, Concordia-Wisconsin).
The comeback continued in the 4th, as the Rivets scored twice with two outs. Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech) started the rally with a double, and was driven in by his Bulldog teammate Shemar Page (Jr, Louisiana Tech). Wade Elliott (So, Louisiana Tech) continued the Bulldog prowess by driving in Page with a double of his own to bring Rockford within one.
The Rivets tied it up with more two-out, La Tech magic in the 5th, as Matulia once again doubled and was scored by an RBI knock of the bat of Page.
Rockford was allowed to comeback thanks to the bullpen work of Tanner Mink (R-Fr, South Florida) who tossed four scoreless relief innings after Herzog was pulled after the 1st.
Mink walked the bases loaded but stranded them in the bottom of the 5th. As a result, he came back out for the 6th, but was removed after allowing an unearned run, which allowed Kokomo to pull ahead 5-4.
The wheels fell off the wagon from there, as Ryan Green (Jr, Concordia Wisconsin) let up back-to-back walks and back-to-back doubles, allowing the deficit to burgeon to 9-4.
In the 7th, matters got worse, as AJ Golembiewski (R-So, Illinois-Spiringfield) and the Rivets allowed three more runs, including two on a little-league homer from Gavin Grant (So, Oregon). Grant drove an RBI single to center field, but came all the way around the bases after a wild throw to home from Matulia in center field.
Rockford wasn’t able to materialize any rallies in the final two innings and dropped their final game of the season against the Jackrabbits.
The Rivets will participate in a league-wide day off tomorrow before returning to action on Thursday against the Kalamazoo Growlers at Rivets Stadium at 6:05.