Rivets Bounce back for Doubleheader Split
Madison, WI. - The Rockford Rivets split their double header against the Madison Mallards on Wednesday after losing game one 3-1 in Rockford and winning game two 4-1 in Madison.
The Rivets' pitching staff played a key role in their game two victory over Madison. Dane Haveman made his first start on the mound this season and went 5.o innings while striking out five batters, and allowing no walks and no earned runs.
"We asked a lot from Dane [Haveman] today and he gave us everything he had," Rivets' Manager Brian Smith said after the game. "He was very effective, very efficient and we were going to ride him out as long as we could without pushing it."
Nathan Schneiderman then came in for relief and pitched 3.0 innings and allowed one earned run while striking out two. Tanner Propst would then come in and pick up the save in the ninth inning.
Madison would take a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the sixth inning, but they would quickly be answered by a three run top of the seventh from the Rivets.
With the bases loaded, shortstop Tim Lilly hit a slow dribbler, that forced the Mallards' pitcher to make a tough play and allow Parker Bates to score the tying run from third. Parker Kelly then came in to pinch hit and smacked a double down the left field line to score Brennan Reback and Logan Michaels, which put Rockford ahead 3-1.
Smith said that the decision to put Kelly in, for that situation, was a no brainer.
"Parker has been swinging it well, and with the lefty pitcher it gave us the advantage," Smith said. "He jumped on the first one he saw and smoked it down the line."
Right fielder Jake Vander Wal would score an important insurance run in the top of the ninth after Michaels singled to right field and make the score 4-1. The Mallards would have no answer in the bottom half of the inning and Rockford would go on and win game two.
The Rivets' offense started off slow in game one, but this time they couldn't get the rally they needed to overcome the competition. Madison's starting pitcher Justin Watland gave the Rivets fits throughout game one and he didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning when the Mallards were up 3-0.
That is when Rivets' catcher Jett Wedekind doubled to leadoff the inning and break up the no hitter. He later came around to score after designated hitter Cade Bunnell singled to push across the Rivets' first run and make it 3-1.
However, this would be all the offense Rockford could supply and they would eventually lose game one in Rockford by a score of 3-1.
"The offense just came up short and you just have to tip your cap to their starter," Smith said. "That was the first time we've seen him. It's difficult this late in the year to face a guy you have never faced before."
Cooper Cain made his final start on the mound for the Rivets in game one before he returns to school at Valdosta State in Georgia. Cain went 5.1 innings while allowing three earned runs and striking out four. He appeared in 10 games on the mound for Rockford this summer and made nine starts. Cain finished with 59 strikeouts, with just 19 walks in 55.2 innings pitched and also posted a 2.52 earned run average. His final appearance of the summer will be at the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase on August 7 in Madison.
Rockford's next game will be on Thursday when they take on the Green Bay Bullfrogs in Rockford at 6:35 pm.
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