Roper, RiverHawks shut out Otters in playoff opener
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September 6, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Derek Roper began the postseason the way he ended the regular season.

Roper threw his fourth consecutive complete game to lead the Rockford RiverHawks to a 5-0 shutout of the Evansville Otters in Game 1 of the Frontier League playoffs.

Roper scattered four hits, struck out four and walked one, in front of 1,391 at RiverHawks Stadium. Roper was 6-7 during the regular season, but the RiverHawks were shut out in five of his seven losses. Roper had a 1-0 win and losses by 2-0 and 1-0 scores in his final three regular-season starts.

Jason James broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run to right field in the fourth inning off Evansville starter Chris Pillsbury. The true rookie, who was homerless during the regular season, was 3-for-3.

The Evansville outfield misplayed four Rockford fly balls into extra-base hits. Rico Santana doubled past left fielder Grant Rembert to make it 2-0 in the fourth. Richard Quihuis-Bell began a three-run Rockford fifth inning with a double after center fielder Dale Mueller started in on a deep fly. Pillsbury (0-1) gave up 10 hits in six innings.

Rockford right fielder Nick Johnson preserved the shutout with fine defensive plays on two deep flies in the fourth. Johnson, with a relay from shortstop Joe Anthonsen, threw out Mueller when he attempted to stretch a leadoff double into a triple. With two out, Mike Galloway hit a fly to the wall in right. Johnson ran headfirst into the padded concrete, leaping up to make the catch as he did so.

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


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