Sauls’ single in eighth beats ‘Bolts, 1-0
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August 30, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Matt Sauls came up with the clutch hit the Windy City ThunderBolts spent all night searching for.

Sauls’ RBI single in the eighth inning gave the Rockford RiverHawks a 1-0 win over the ThunderBolts on Wednesday at RiverHawks Stadium. Windy City left eight men on base, seven of them at third. Three Rockford pitchers combined on a six-hitter.

The ThunderBolts, third in the Frontier League West, were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the night when Evansville won, 6-3, at Chillicothe to clinch the division’s final playoff spot. The first-place RiverHawks’ magic number to clinch the division title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is two. Rockford, which ended a four-game losing streak, and Evansville will meet in the first round beginning Sept. 6.

Starters Shaun Parker of Rockford and Nick Renault of Windy City took a scoreless duel to the late innings. In the eighth, Gooby Gerlits led off with a double to right-center. With two outs and Gerlits at third, Sauls lined Renault’s first pitch to center field to break the tie and drive Renault (2-5) from the game.

Parker struck out a season-high nine in seven innings but got a no-decision. After Doug Schutt was caught trying to steal home in the top of the first, the ‘Bolts left runners at third base in the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. John Smith (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Mike Marksbury gave up a one-out double to Steve Ketter in the ninth, but earned his 12th save when Steve Holdren lined back to the mound for the final out.

The last homestand of the regular season continues at 7:05 p.m. on Thirsty Thursday. Miller Lite and 104.9 – the X sponsor Dollar Beer Night.

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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