Baseball Drops Florida Finale
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The baseball team ended a difficult spring trip on Saturday with a single game against the Haverford College Fords. Rockford knew it was going to be a tough task to defeat Haverford as the Fords entered Saturday with an unblemished 9-0 record. Rockford continued to struggle to play a complete game as it scored just 2 runs on 7 hits while committing 3 errors in the 6-2 loss.
The beginning of the game got off to a rocky start as Rockford found itself in another early hole. The Regents allowed three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. After retiring the first two batters, Regents starting pitcher Michael Kiviranta (Schaumburg, Ill./Hoffman Estates)struck out the third batter, but he was able to reach first base as the pitch was in the dirt and scooted away from the catcher. Haverford took advantage as the Regents then committed back-to-back throwing errors and scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead. The Fords then tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI triple increasing their lead to 4-0 after five.
The Rockford offense was able to put pressure on Haverford but the Regents went 3-18 with runners on base, 1-9 with runners in scoring position and hit into 3 double plays. In each of the first three innings the Regents were able to get the leadoff runner on base but subsequently grounded into a double play dispelling any treat. Rockford finally broke through in the sixth inning with a pair of runs. Daryn Streed (Belvidere, Ill./North)led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. After a flyout to right, Chris Holke (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) double to left-center field putting runners on second and third with one out. Third baseman Cole Logemann (Lena, Ill./Lena-Winslow) strung together the team's third straight hit when he singled up the middle scoring Streed and advancing Holke to third. Holke then scored on a wild pitch making it a 4-2 lead for the Fords after six complete.
Haverford answered Rockford's 2-run sixth with another unearned run in the bottom of the inning and one final run in the eighth for the 6-2 win. With the loss, Rockford finished its Florida trip with a 1-7 record.
Regents starting pitcher Michael Kiviranta had his second straight excellent outting to begin the season. Kiviranta threw 83 pitches over his 7 innings of work and gave up just one earned run. He scattered 8 hits while striking out 2 and walking none. Kiviranta has pitched 14.1 innings over his two starts this season with a .241 batting average against and a team leading 0.63 earned run average. The sophomore has struck out 6 batters and has yet to issue a walk this season.
Rockford will now travel to Texas for a four game series against Trinity starting on Friday, March 22. First pitch on Friday is at 7:00 p.m.