The Rockford Rivets on Sunday scored twice in the fourth, thrice in the fifth and twice more in the seventh to jump out to a commanding 8-1 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks. But suddenly, the Wisconsin bats erupted for five runs in the seventh to make things close, but four Wisconsin (23-37; 8-17) errors led to four unearned Rockford (34-24; 17-7) runs, which ended up being the difference in a 9-6 Rivet win.
The game looked like it might be close early. Brynn Martinez, Hunter Feduccia and Bren Spillane all hit singles on three consecutive Degan Harte pitches to put Rockford up 1-0 in the first, but Wisconsin tied it right back up thanks to a Stevie Mangrum double and an RBI single from Adonis Lao.
Harte got through the next two unscathed, but the Rivets got to him in the middle innings. Brett Whelton and Patrick Loeffler both singled in the fourth, and Martinez and Feduccia both drove in a run despite not recording a hit to put Rockford up 3-1. From there, the Wisconsin defense let Harte down. The Chucks committed errors against three straight Rivet batters in the fifth, and they all scored, led by a 2-RBI single by Logan Michaels.
Thomas Johnston came in to make his Wisconsin debut and pitched a scoreless sixth, but Loeffler singled and Anthony Forte doubled in the seventh and they both scored to give Rockford an 8-1 stranglehold.
Wisconsin had been getting hits against Rivet starter Brad Littleton, but couldn’t turn more than one of them into runs. Until the seventh. With one out, Yeager Taylor reached on an infield single to kickstart a five-hit, five-run Wisconsin frame. Mangrum and Chad Fleischman both hit RBI doubles, Hunter Coleman hit a 2-RBI double and Lao added an RBI single in the frame to get Wisconsin within 8-6.
Kevin Bolder came in and walked three over two innings, but he would’ve gotten through two scoreless if it weren’t for Wisconsin’s fourth error of the game allowing Martinez to score in the ninth to push Rockford ahead by three. That lead was more than enough for Zach Thomas, who allowed a Logan Foster single but nothing else over two scoreless frames to tally his sixth save of the season and clinch the 9-6 Rockford win.
With the doubleheader sweep on Saturday and another holdout win on Sunday, the Rivets swept the weekend series against the Woodchucks and won the season series handily, seven games to one. Wisconsin will hope for a rebound Monday night in Green Bay. Zach Siggelkow will lead the Woodchucks against the last-place Bullfrogs, with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM.