RiverHawks re-sign veteran Watson
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March 5, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Tanner Watson is coming back for a third season with the Rockford RiverHawks, but his first year as the ace of the pitching staff.

The RiverHawks announced today that they have re-signed the veteran right-hander. With the retirement of pitching coach Derek Roper, who was also the No. 1 starter in the rotation each of the last two years, Watson becomes the most-experience and best-credentialed arm in the rotation.

Watson was 8-5 with a 2.85 ERA in 17 starts last year. He struck out 66 and walked just 27 in 107 1/3 innings.

“Watson’s our top guy,” director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said. “We anticipate him being our No. 1. We’re also hopeful this year he has the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.”

The Seattle Mariners took Watson, a native of Arnprior, Ontario, in the 19th round of the 2000 draft. He broke into professional baseball the following summer and led the rookie-level Arizona League in wins. The Mariners released Watson during the 2005 season and he finished the year with the RiverHawks.

Watson, 24, has a 30-30 record and a 4.46 ERA in his six-year professional career. He has 12 wins in a Rockford uniform, six short of Josh Tomsu’s career record.

The RiverHawks are the Western Division champions of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 15th season in 2007. The RiverHawks begin their sixth season on May 23 at Windy City. The home opener is 7:05 p.m. May 25, when the RiverHawks host Windy City. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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