LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — After finding themselves in an early hole once again, the Rockford Rivets roared back to beat the Kokomo Jackrabbits 16-8 on Monday night at Rivets Stadium to end a four game losing streak. It happened on ‘Bark in the Park’ night with several dogs in attendance.
Rivets starter Payton Hutchings (Fr, Illinois) let up five runs in the first three innings, creating an early 5-0 deficit. However, in the bottom of the 3rd, Rockford would turn the tables.
After striking out five batters in his first two innings, Jackrabbits starter Evan Elliott (R-Fr, Iowa) hit Josue Urdeneta (R-Fr, Indiana State) and Tyeler Hawkins (R-Fr, Louisville) and issued a walk to Daniel Cantu (R-Fr, South Florida) to open the 3rd.
Urdeneta would score on a wild pitch, before Phil Matulia (Jr, Louisiana Tech) would walk to re-load the bases. After Adam Christopher (Fr, Loyola-Marymount) relieved Elliot, he issued back-to-back bases loaded walks to Brian Fuentes (R-Fr, Indiana State) and Brody Harding (So, Illinois) to trim the Kokomo deficit to 5-3 with Jared Cushing (R-Fr, Xavier) at the plate.
After Cushing battled to a full count, he drove a towering fly ball over the left field wall to give the Rivets the lead on a go-ahead grand slam.
The Jackrabbits wouldn’t go down easy, scoring a run in the 4th and 2 in the 6th to retake the lead, 8-7.
The Rivets could reclaim the advantage in the 6th thanks to an RBI single by Wade Elliot (So, Louisiana Tech) and a two-RBI knock by Harding.
Rockford would break things wide open in the bottom of the 7th, scoring 6 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks to push the lead to 16-8.
Tucker Shalley (Fr, Illinois) extended his scoreless innings streak to 7.1 with a scoreless 8th inning, and Ben Vitas (Fr, Central Michigan) ended the game with a scoreless 9th to end the Rivets’ skid.
With the win, the Rivets move to 9-12 on the season and end Kokomo’s four game win streak.
Rockford and Kokomo will finish the two game series tomorrow night at 6:05 at Rivets Stadium.