April 20, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Three more members of last year’s division-championship roster are returning to the Rockford RiverHawks.
The team announced today that it had re-signed all-star closer Mike Marksbury, reliever John Smith and outfielder/pitcher Jason James. All three have rookie status in the Frontier League.
Last year, Marksbury was 2-0 with 12 saves and a 2.87 earned-run average in 29 appearances. He averaged a strikeout an inning and a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Smith was picked up from San Angelo of the United League in an August trade and saw significant action in the season’s final month. He was 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 13 relief appearances.
James batted .341 with no home runs and 16 RBI in 36 regular-season games. He homered in his first playoff game to lead the RiverHawks to a 5-0 win over Evansville last Sept. 6. He had 14 multi-hit games out of 29 that he was in the starting lineup.
As a pitcher, James was 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six appearances. His two-way skills served him well on Aug. 3 at Florence. He began the night as the DH, moved to the mound in extra innings and drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th to give himself his first professional decision and the RiverHawks a 7-5 win. James is the only player in team history to get the pitching win and drive in the winning run in the same game.
The RiverHawks are the Western Division champions of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 15th season in 2007. The RiverHawks begin their sixth season on May 23 at Windy City. The home opener is at 7:05 p.m. May 25, when the RiverHawks host Windy City. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. All games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM). Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.