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Heil, Traverse City shut down Rockford

The Traverse City Pit Spitters continued their dominance of the Rockford Rivets this season on Saturday night, defeating the Rivets 9-1 at Turtle Creek Stadium. With the setback, Rockford’s second half record drops to 12-17, officially dropping them from playoff contention. 

The Rivets are now 1-8 against the Spitters this summer, being outscored 97-34 in those nine contests. 

The game started as another pitchers’ duel, as Cade Heil (Jr, North Georgia) took the ball for Traverse City, and Brendan Lawry (So, Eckerd College) opposed him for the Rivets.

Lawry struggled in the bottom of the 1st, surrendering an RBI single to Mario Camilletti (R-Jr, Central Michigan) and an RBI double to Tito Flores (So, Michigan) to put the Pit Spitters in front. 

Heil had no such struggles, working a perfect first time through the order. Rockford recorded its first hit of the game in the 4th inning, via an infield single by Jake Cavanaugh (R-Jr, UW-Milwaukee). 

Rockford would come inches away from cutting Traverse City’s lead in half in the 5th inning. Donavan Noble reached on an infield hit with one out, and eventually moved to second base on a balk by Heil. 

With two outs, Drew Stengren (Fr, Central Michigan) singled through the right side, and Noble dashed to the plate. However, right fielder Evan Maday (Jr, Hope College) fired a strike to home plate to retire Noble by mere inches. 

Lawry cruised through innings 2 through 5, but ran into trouble to start the 6th, loading the bases with no outs to finish his day. Elijah Sanchez (Jr, Northern Illinois) took over and let up all three inherited runners, allowing TC’s lead to grow to 5-0. 

Things got worse in the 6th, as Sanchez allowed three more Pit Spitters tallies. Traverse City added one more for good measure in the 8th, before the Rivets entered the 9th trailing 9-0. 

Rockford was able to avert its third shutout of the summer against Traverse City thanks to an RBI groundout from Johannes Haakenson (Jr, Concordia-Wisconsin). 

The Rivets will play their final game of the summer at Traverse City at 5:05 ET, searching for their first win at Turtle Creek Stadium.