'Hawks hit four homers, but tie Joliet, 11-11
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May 10, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks hit four home runs in their spring-training opener, but the Joliet Jackhammers rallied in the eighth inning for an 11-11 tie in an interleague exhibition.

Three new acquisitions combined for three home runs out of Rockford’s cleanup spot. Will Henderson, picked up from San Diego of the Golden League in a November trade, was 3-for-3 with two home runs. He singled on a first-pitch fastball in the first inning, homered off the scoreboard in left-center in the third inning and hit a two-run homer to left-center in the fifth. Rookie Brandon Cohen, out of Seton Hall, replaced him at first base and hit a three-run homer to center field in the seventh inning and gave Rockford its final lead, 11-8.

The RiverHawks rallied for four runs in the seventh. Shortstop Jake Bowen led off the inning with a home run into the beer garden in right field. No RiverHawk reached the garden, which comes as close as 312 feet to home plate, in a regular-season or playoff game in 2006, the first year at the new stadium.

The Jackhammers rallied for three runs in the sixth inning and three in the eighth to wipe out two Rockford leads. In the eighth, Dennis Blackmon, Jr. doubled to left to drive in two runs. Javier Lopez tied it with a RBI groundout to shortstop.

Rockford closer Mike Marksbury then entered the game and prevented, in an unusual fashion, the go-ahead run from scoring from third. Marksbury threw his 3-2 pitch to Eric Scriven to the backstop, but catcher Justus Kimbrough recovered the ball and threw it to Marksbury in time to tag Blackmon in a wild tumble at the plate.

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 at 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. All games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM). Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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