RiverHawks lose game, win division title
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September 1, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Despite a 5-2 loss to Windy City on Friday, the Rockford RiverHawks are Frontier League West champions for the second time in three years.

The RiverHawks clinched the title, along with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, when second-place Evansville lost, 3-1, at Chillicothe.

The ThunderBolts took two of three from the RiverHawks and held them to three runs in Rockford’s last homestand of the regular season. The RiverHawks left a team-record 20 men on base, in front of a capacity crowd of 3,529 at RiverHawks Stadium.

The RiverHawks scored on a Matt Sauls ground-rule double in the second inning and on a run-scoring forceout from Gooby Gerlits in the fifth inning. They were never retired in order and totaled 15 hits, but left the bases loaded in three different innings.

Former RiverHawk Stephen Holdren drove in runs for Windy City on a groundout in the first and a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

The ThunderBolts scored three times in the ninth off reliever Dave Dowling (4-4) to break a 2-2 tie. Beau Massey relieved Dowling with the bases loaded and one out. Kevin House hit a grounder that shortstop Joe Anthonsen threw away for a two-run error. Anthony Seratelli followed with a run-scoring sacrifice bunt.

Billy Phillips (6-0) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to win in relief. Brian Beuning stranded runners at the corners in the ninth for his league-record 23rd save.

The RiverHawks close the regular season with a three-game trip to Gateway, beginning at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

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) 885-2255. All games are broadcast live on WRHL-FM, 102.3 – the Hub and online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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