For the City Times
Watson drives in six for Rockford, hits a grand slam
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Early and often offense powered Rockford (28-22, 11-5) to a 12-4 win on Tuesday against Wisconsin Rapids (38-14) on Monday. The Rafters are now 3-2 against the Rivets on the season.
First inning offense for the Rafters got things started as Charlie McConnell led off the game with a single to left. Ryan Stekl drew a four-pitch walk, and Bryson Stott drilled an RBI double to right to put the Rafters in front 1-0. Jacson McGowan laced the first pitch he saw as the next batter to center to score Stekl, and Stott scored on a passed ball to give the Rafters a 3-0 after a half inning.
Quickly striking in the bottom of the second, the Rivets scored three runs to tie the game. Brian Klein led off with a single while Patrick Loeffler walked. Bryan Martinez, Logan Michaels, and Trevor Peradoski hit three consecutive RBI base hits to tie the game at 3-3.
Rockford took its first lead of the game as Zach Watson (LSU) drove a double to right with one out. Ryan Hutchinson (Illinois State) flared a single to right to score Watson and give the Rivets a 4-3 lead after three.
With two outs in the fourth, Rockford’s offense loaded the bases with two walks and a single for Watson. Watson drove a ball over the left field wall for a grand slam, extending the Rivets lead 8-3 after four.
Dustin Woodcock led off the sixth with a walk for the Rafters, and came around to score on an RBI groundout off the bat of McGowan to make the score 8-4.
Rockford added to its lead in the bottom of the inning when the Rivets drew three straight walks with one out. Watson drove a two-RBI double to left, while Brian Klein and Ryan Hutchinson plated a run each with singles to give the Rivets a 12-4 lead.
The Rafters put three more runners on base in the final three innings, but could not bring any home, snapping a five-game winning steak.
First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. at Rivets Stadium in the final game of the series on Tuesday to complete the six-game road trip, with pregame coverage starting at 6:20 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.