Wild Things walk off with 4-3 win
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August 20, 2009 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – Brett Grandstrand was the gnat who wouldn’t go away.

The Washington Wild Things’ No. 9 batter singled in each of his last three at-bats on Thursday. Each time, the .234 hitter set up a rally in the Wild Things’ 4-3 comeback win over the Rockford RiverHawks. Grandstrand scored the winning run on Ryan Groth’s two-out, walkoff single in the 10th inning.

The RiverHawks failed to gain ground on Frontier League West-leading Windy City. The ThunderBolts lost, 10-6, at Florence. River City beat East-leading Kalamazoo, 6-3, and Southern Illinois beat Lake Erie, 4-3, to create a three-way logjam. Windy City, River City and Southern Illinois are tied for both the West lead and the last of two wild-card spots. That leaves the RiverHawks five games out of a playoff spot with 16 games to play.

Rockford has lost seven walkoffs this year.

Rockford squandered a 3-0 lead and did not advance a runner beyond second base after the first inning.

Four straight RiverHawks reached base with one out in the first inning. Doug Sanders hit a soft grounder down the line at third base. Washington’s Chris Raniere waited for it behind the bag and conceded the infield hit to Sanders. Jason James followed with a bloop single down the line in right field. Robert Sabates hit a grounder just inside the bag at first and to the corner in right to triple home Sanders and James. After Washington starter Brian McCullough hit Brandon Cohen, Derrick Walker drove in Sabates with a sacrifice fly to right.

Rockford starter Kyle Wright pitched five shutout innings, but did not return after a rain delay of more than 90 minutes in the middle of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Chris Sidick hit a two-run homer to right-center. The Wild Things tied the game with an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth.

In the tenth, Grandstrand led off with a bunt single and advance to third on a sacrifice and a groundout. Two walks, one intentional, loaded the bases. Rockford closer Ferdin Tejeda got ahead of Groth, but Groth lined an 0-2 pitch down the line in right for the winning hit.

Tejeda (0-2) took the loss. Justin Edwards (4-4) pitched an inning of relief for the win.

The RiverHawks head to Florence for a three-game series against the Freedom. The series opener is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CDT Friday.

The RiverHawks come home Aug. 25 for a six-game homestand. They play River City at 7:05 p.m. on a Two-For Tuesday. Tickets and hot dogs are each 2-for-1.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 17th season. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com. Most games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380, and on the team website.


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