Rivets fall to Kingfish in 2021 finale
The Rockford Rivets finished their 2021 season at Rivets Stadium much like they started it: with a double digit loss to the Kenosha Kingfish. The Rivets’ offense never got going and the Screws fell to the Kingfish 16-4 to finish the 2021 campaign on Saturday night at Rivets Stadium.
Rockford finishes the season with a record of 29-41, the team’s 4th straight losing season.
The Rivets’ trend of allowing early runs continued in the season finale, as Seth Masters (R-So, Illinois-Springfield) surrendered an unearned run in the top of the 1st inning to hand the Kingfish a 1-0 lead.
The Kingfish scoring continued in the 3rd, as they pushed across two more runs via two sacrifice flies off the bat of Cam Collier (Fr, South Florida) and Matt Korman (R-Jr, UW-Whitewater) to push the lead to 3-0.
Masters exited the game following the 3rd, and Rockford’s new arm, Chris Conrad (R-So, UW-Parkside) allowed another run in the 4th thanks to a Chase Gibson (Jr, William Woods) RBI single.
After managing just one hit in the first four innings, Rockford got a rally going against Kenosha starter Dominic Hann (Fr, Michigan State) in the 5th. Drew Stengren (Fr, Central Michigan) and Jake Bilotta (So, Rockford) started the inning with back-to-back singles. Stengren eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Bilotta came around on an RBI groundout from DJ Noble (Fr, South Suburban College) to trim the lead to 4-2.
The floodgates opened in the 6th inning, as Elijah Sanchez (Jr, Northern Illinois) entered the game and failed to record an out, allowing the first eight batters of the frame to reach. Sanchez would eventually be charged with all six runs that scored in the inning to push the Kingfish lead to 10-2.
Jacob Taft (So, Graceland) finished the 6th and came back out for the 7th. Kenosha continued to grow its lead, pushing across three runs against the Belvidere native.
The Kingfish lead swelled again in the 8th, as AJ Golembiewski (R-So, Illinois-Springfield) surrendered three more runs.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Rivets pushed across two unearned runs to cut the lead to 16-4, but the scoring ended there.
Jack Cavanaugh (R-Jr, UW-Milwaukee) recorded a hit in the bottom of the 9th in his final at-bat of his organized baseball career, but Rockford failed to capitalize and finished the season with a 0 on the line score.
Seth Masters took the loss, going three innings, allowing three runs, just one of which was earned. Dominic Hann picked up the victory, as the righty went five innings and surrendered two earned runs.
The Rivets closed the season in front of a season-high 2,017 fans.
Rockford will return to action in the early summer of 2022.