Gerlits’ two-out single in ninth beats Otters, 6-5
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July 31, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Gooby Gerlits singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday as the Rockford RiverHawks beat the Evansville Otters, 6-5.

The RiverHawks rallied from a four-run deficit to take two of three from the Otters at RiverHawks Stadium. Rockford won five of nine on its longest homestand of the year and leads second-place Evansville by 4½ games in the Frontier League West.

The Otters scored four times in the top of the first inning off Rockford starter Joe Barbosa, who left after an inning because of an undisclosed injury. Matt Edwards hit a three-run homer, his 10th of the year. Six straight hitters reached safely with two outs.

The RiverHawks rallied from a 5-1 deficit with three runs in the seventh inning, one in the eighth and one in the ninth. Evansville closer Mike Bille (2-4) blew the save and took the loss. Bille entered in the eighth inning with the tying run at second base and two outs. Matt Sauls tripled Bille’s first pitch to the fence in right-center to even the score at 5-5.

Rico Santana led off the Rockford ninth with a double to the right-field corner. Following a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk and a strikeout, Gerlits hit Bille’s 2-2 pitch into right-center to drive home Santana.

The Rockford bullpen combined to scatter a run on seven hits over eight innings. Beau Massey (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief to get the win.

After a league-wide off day on Tuesday, the RiverHawks hit the road for six games in Florence and Chillicothe. The ‘Hawks play the Freedom at 6:05 p.m. CDT on Wednesday.

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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