LOVES PARK, Ill. - Rockford's Devin Shepherd hit a game-winning RBI double in the 10th inning Friday night to give the RiverHawks a 2-1 victory over the Traverse City Beach Bums.
With Shepherd announcing that he will retire to take care of his new baby daughter, he delivered in dramatic fashion, driving a Matt Miller pitch into the left-center field gap, and Mike Thomas slide in safely at home plate to give the RiverHawks the victory over the Frontier League East-leading Beach Bums.
Rockford took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning on a fielding error by Jose Vargas on a ground ball off the bat of Javier Herrera, scoring Brandon Anderson.
The Beach Bums scored their lone run of the game on a sixth inning leadoff solo home run by Chase Burch, his ninth of the season, off Drew Rucinski to tie the game at 1-1.
Both starters pitched effectively as Traverse City's Jacob Clem allowed just two hits and an unearned run over seven innings pitched. Rockford's Drew Rucinski give up just one run on seven hits while striking out a season-high nine batters in six innings pitched.
The Beach Bums stranded nine runners in the game, six in scoring position. Rockford's Garrett Granitz (1-1) earned the win as he came in with one out and a runner on second base in the tenth inning to retire Jose Vargas on a strikeout and Chase Burch on a fly out to right field on which Javier Herrera made a diving grab to keep the tied at 1-1.
Miller (3-3) picked up the loss in relief for the Beach Bums.
The RiverHawks are now 4-0 in extra-inning ballgames.
The series finale is set for a 6:06 p.m. start Saturday as the RiverHawks look to pick up the sweep. The Beach Bums will start Reid Kelly (7-2, 3.86 ERA), and the RiverHawks will counter with Ziggie VanderWall (4-3, 5.80 ERA)