RiverHawks win opening series
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May 27, 2006 - CRESTWOOD, Ill. – Beau Massey’s job is usually to protect leads. But the relief pitcher was responsible for providing the lead in the rubber game against the Thunderbolts last night. Starting at first base, Massey hit a first-inning grand slam off Windy City starter John Hummel to give Rockford a 4-0 lead.

Windy City fought back, however, scoring two in the second on a home run by designated hitter Nick Klusaw, and one more in each of the third and fourth innings to tie the game.

The RiverHawks regained the lead in the fifth inning when Nick Johnson drove in Rico Santana with an infield single. The ‘Hawks would not relinquish that lead, but would only add to it.

They scored three more times in the seventh inning, thanks to singles by Johnson, Massey, and shortstop Jake Bowen who got an RBI for his effort, as well as an errant pickoff attempt by reliever Billy Phillips. Center fielder Matt Sauls also got an RBI on a groundout in that inning.

That provided the final margin of victory, 8-4. Starter Garrett Bauer picked up the win by going 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits, striking out two and walking one. Adam Kroft pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, and Mike Marksbury closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The heart of the RiverHawks’ order came up big, with Santana going three for five with two runs scored and two stolen bases, designated hitter Bart Hunton going three for five with a run scored and a stolen base, and Johnson getting three hits in four at bats with a walk and two runs scored.

Rockford now travels to River City for a three-game series with the West Division-leading Rascals, who are 3-0. Game times for the series are 7:05, 6:05, and 2:05 over Memorial Day weekend.

Opening Day at RiverHawks Stadium is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 31. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 10-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 14th season in 2006. Advertising, ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. All games are broadcast live on WRHL-FM, 102.3 – the Hub and online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com


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