Rivets pull through in 10 innings at Lakeshore

Thanks to a two-out RBI single by Kevin Bushnell (Jr, Bennidictine) in the top of the 10th and strong pitching through the contest, the Rockford Rivets prevailed 3-2 over the Lakeshore Chinooks on Thursday night at Kapco Park. The win marks Rockford’s 5th in its last 7 games, and brings the team’s record to 12-15 in the second half. 

Despite hitter friendly conditions, with the wind howling out to strightaway centerfield, the contest started as a pitchers duel. 

Noah DeLuga (Fr, Minnesota) started the game for the Rivets and came out strong, keeping the Chinooks off the scoreboard through the first 4 innings. Lakeshore countered with Tommy Lamb (Fr, Creighton), who didn’t allow a run in his six innings of work. 

The scoring began in the bottom of the 5th, as DeLuga surrendered a leadoff double to Connor Kimple (R-Jr, Louisiana-Lafayette), who moved to third on a ground out and then scored on a wild pitch to put Lakeshore ahead 1-0. 

In the bottom of the 6th, the Chinooks doubled their lead with one swing of the bat, as Jackson Gray (R-So, Western Kentucky) hit a solo homer to right off of DeLuga. 

In the 7th, Rockford responded as Lakeshore went to the bullpen. Conner Goodman (R-So, UW-Milwaukee) started the inning with a double and his Panther teammate Jack Cavanaugh (R-Jr, UW-Milwaukee) brought him in with a double of his own. Two batters later, Bandon Bannon (So, Illinois-Springfield) tied the game 2-2 with the third double of the inning.

Ryan Green (Jr, Concordia-Wisconsin) relieved DeLuga in the bottom of the 7th, after the southpaw delivered six innings of 2-run ball, his longest and strongest outing of the summer. 

Green navigated around a two-out double and stranded the go-ahead runner on third base in his first inning of work by striking out Lakeshore slugger Griffin Doersching (R-Jr, Oklahoma State). The strong start was a sign of things to come, as the righty worked a 1-2-3 8th inning. 

In the 9th inning, Rockford stranded the go-ahead run on third base, leaving the door open for a Lakeshore walk-off in the bottom of the frame. 

The Chinooks came as close as they could. Green walked the first batter of the inning and then hit Mack Timbrook (R-So, Kent State). After bouncing back with a strikeout, Green delivered a ball in the dirt to Ty Olejnik (R-Fr, UW-Milwaukee), which resulted in both runners moving into scoring position. 

Olejnik was then intentionally walked to put the double-play back in order. Rockford would get a double play to escape the jam, but not conventionally. 

Evan Rice (R-So, CSU-Bakersfield) hit a soft line drive to shortstop, which Brody Harding (So, Illinois) caught in shallow center field. Timbrook took off for third, thinking the ball would fall, and was easily doubled off at second base to end the threat. 

In the top of the 10th, the first two batters were retired before Bushnell came through with a single into left to score Jake Bilotta (So, Rockford) to put the Rivets ahead 3-2.

Green returned to the mound in the bottom of the 10th and set the Chinooks down 1-2-3 to secure a Rivets victory on his collegiate home field. 

Rockford will finish their season series with Lakeshore tomorrow night at 6:05 at Rivets Stadium.