RiverHawks collapse in ninth; Rascals win, 13-8
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July 27, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The previously unshakeable Rockford bullpen collapsed in spectacular fashion on Wednesday.

River City rallied for 11 runs off three relievers in the top of the ninth inning and beat the RiverHawks, 13-8.

The RiverHawks, who had an 8-2 lead entering the ninth, had been 25-0 when leading after eight innings. The blown six-run lead was the largest margin lost since Rockford lost a seven-run lead in Richmond on June 16, 2005. The RiverHawks eventually won that one, 17-13, in 11 innings.

The Rascals sent 15 to the plate and totaled nine hits in the ninth off closer Mike Marksbury, Beau Massey and Adam Kroft. Three in a row reached base and scored off Marksbury. With two out and nobody aboard, nine in a row reached base against the relief trio. Massey (1-1) hit Eddie Guessford to force home the tying run and walked Casey Bowling to force in the go-ahead run. Justin McKinley and Trave Hopkins followed with back-to-back, two-run singles to put the game away.

The RiverHawks broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the seventh and two in the eighth. Nick Johnson singled home a run in the seventh and tripled home another in the eighth. He was 2-for-4.

Brian Johnson (1-1) gave up Johnson’s triple and Eric Cavers’ RBI double in the eighth, but won in relief.

The series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Thirsty Thursday. Miller Lite and 104.9 – the X sponsor Dollar Beer Night. Rockford Speedway sponsors NASCAR Night. Various famed stock cars will be at park; fans will have a chance to ride in one.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 10-team independent professional baseball league in its 14th season. Advertising, ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 964-2255. All games are broadcast live on WRHL-FM, 102.3 – the Hub and online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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