The Lakeshore Chinooks used a big first inning, and put the game away with a bigger sixth inning to beat the Rockford Rivets 6-3 on Tuesday afternoon at Kapco Park.
But the Rivets returned home Wednesday and grabbed a 2-1 win over the Kenosha Kingfish at Rivets Stadium.
The Chinooks struck with two outs in the first inning, Tuesday. Zac Taylor was hit by a pitch, and Kurtis Brown, Darius Sewell, and Owen Miller followed with singles for a 2-0 lead. The Chinooks added a run in the third on a RBI single by Brown.
That score stood until the fourth, when Ricardo Ramirez hit a ground-rule double to right center field and scored on an error by Lakeshore second baseman Royce Ando. The Rivets scored in the fifth inning on a RBI walk by Ramirez, but Lakeshore responded for three runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach for Rockford.
Lakeshore righthander Luke Sommerfeld pitched 3.3 scoreless innings of relief for the win. Starter Cole Genetz left with the lead, but didn’t pitch five innings to qualify for the win. Zach Reeg picked up the save with a routine ninth inning.
Rockford starter Zachary Aring did not return after a 36-pitch first inning, per Northwoods League rule, and suffered the loss.
But the Rivets rode six scoreless innings from starting pitcher Nick Drahozal to a 2-1 win over the Kenosha on Wednesday.
Drahozal scattered five hits for the win. Tyler Thornton struck out four in three innings for the save in his first Rockford appearance. Kenosha starter Charlie Hecht struck out seven, but gave up two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings and took the loss.
The Rivets took an early lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Ricardo Ramirez drove in Jacob Vander Wal on a sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Ramirez singled in the Rivets’ other run.
In the eighth inning, the Kingfish broke the shutout on a RBI groundout by Wes Weeks.
The Rivets travel to Kenosha for the second game of the four-game series, at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Broadcasts and live streams can be found at NorthwoodsLeague.com.