08/16/2012 9:20 PM
LOVES PARK, Ill. – A key Rockford blunder in the sixth inning Thursday allowed the Florence Freedom to score the go-ahead run and top the RiverHawks 6-5 in the series finale.
The Freedom trailed 5-4 in the sixth inning until they loaded the bases with no outs. Leadoff man David Harris hit a sac fly to left field to tie the game at 5-5. Junior Arrojo followed by bouncing a ball to shortstop Justino Cuevas, who flipped to Ted Obregon for the second out. Obregon tried to hold up from throwing to first base in an attempt to turn the double play, but he released the ball and it got past Evan Button, allowing John Malloy to score the go-ahead run.
Rockford’s Kyle Schepel (3-5) lost his fourth straight decision, giving up five earned runs on six hits and seven walks in six innings.
Brad Allen (1-1) struck out four in 2 2/3 innings and got the win in relief.
The RiverHawks’ offense stranded 12 runners on base, with nine left in scoring position.
In the seventh inning, Rockford had two men on with two outs, but Jimmy Parque struck out to end the inning. In the eighth inning, the RiverHawks put runners on the corners with one out, but Evan Button struck out and Michael Hur grounded to first to end the inning and keep the game at 6-5.
Jorge Marban pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his eighth save of the season.
Rockford’s Greg Van Horn was hit by a pitch four times in the game.
The Freedom improved to 43-37, while the RiuverHawks fell to 34-47.
Rockford opens a three-game series at the Normal CornBelters Friday, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. The probables for the game are Rockford’s Drew Rucinski (6-2, 2.62 ERA) and Normal’s Drew Provence (4-2, 3.93 ERA).
The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, an independent professional baseball league in its 20th season. Games are broadcast on NTA-FM (100.5) Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit www.rockfordriverhawks.com.