MEQUON, Wis. - Rockford's opening game of the 2013 Northern Athletics Conference Tournament against the Aurora University Spartans was a pitcher's duel for the ages. Both the Regents and the Spartans struggled to get runners on base or score runs for the entire game. Aurora finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth when it scored an unearned run for the only run of the afternoon to win 1-0.
Senior pitcher Daryn Streed (Belvidere, Ill./North) was outstanding on the mound for Rockford. Streed threw his first complete game of the season surrendering just 4 hits and 0 earned runs. He had the Spartans guessing the entire game fanning 7 hitters while walking just 3. The senior was absolutely brilliant on the mound retiring nine consecutive batters after the second inning and not allowing a hit again until the bottom of the eighth.
Rockford had a trio of opportunities in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to score runs but came up empty. In the sixth, Joe Rigg (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) reached on an infield error to begin the inning. However, the Regents were unable to get a bunt down to advance the runner and then grounded into a double play to end the inning. One inning later Rockford had probably its best scoring opportunity of the afternoon. Following two quick outs, junior Terry Wiltshire (Elizabeth, Ill./River Ridge) drove his first hit of the game into right field putting a runner on first and two outs. First baseman Scott Swiderek (Chicago, Ill./Walter Lutheran) followed with his third hit of the day to place runners on first and second. Bobby Barrera (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) then loaded the bases when he was hit by pitch. That was where the rally would end though as the next batter struck out to finsih the inning. The Regents had one final opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the eighth when Matt Grimes (O'Fallon, Mo./Fort Zumwalt West) singled and then stole second base. Again though, Rockford was unable to push across a run as Aurora retired the middle of the Rockford order to end the threat.
In the bottom of the eighth it was Aurora who took advantage of a Rockford error and scored an unearned run with two outs to grab a 1-0 lead heading into the ninth. In the final frame Wiltshire gave Rockford a chance with his second single of the afternoon this one into right center. However, a pinch runner for the Regents was caught stealing to end the immediate threat. The next batter Scott Swiderek was able to draw a two-out walk, but the Spartans struck out the following batter to end the game.
Rockford will now play in an elimination game at 7:00 p.m. tonight against Concordia University Chicago.