RiverHawks drop opener, 14-11
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May 24, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks do not have a fireworks show scheduled until Friday night, but explosive offense was plentiful on Wednesday night in Crestwood.

On opening night of the 2007 season, the RiverHawks fell to Windy City 14-11, in a game which featured four homeruns. Rockford’s season started off on a positive note as lead-off hitter Joe Anthonson was hit by the first pitch of the game. He would later score on an RBI single from RiverHawks designated hitter Joey Huskins . Rockford would tally four total runs in the first, but the pitching could not hold the lead.

Rockford starter John Gragg finished the day with a no decision, but allowed 5 earned runs in 3 innings, striking out five while walking two. Windy City shortstop Wes Long hit a pair of homeruns igniting the ThunderBolts offense, which rallied to a 5-4 lead in the third.

The RiverHawks looked to put the game away with a seven-run fourth inning, extending their lead to 11-5. Rookie outfielder Roberto Valiente highlighted the inning with a two-run triple to left. But Rockford’s offense would be silenced from then on out, and the final 13 batters of the game were retired in order.

Windy City rallied back over the next two innings scoring 5 runs off relief pitcher Chad Catalano , who fell behind all nine batters he faced. A two-run homerun from ThunderBolts catcher L.P. Lowen put the game away.

Anthony Rebyanski (1-0) was credited with the victory while RiverHawks relief pitcher Bobby Mack (0-1) was ticketed with the loss. Closer Mike Causey (1) earned his first save of the season, pitching a perfect ninth inning.

Windy City’s 14 runs marked the highest total given up by Rockford pitching on opening day. The RiverHawks did not allow more than 13 runs a game all of last season.
The same two teams will meet Thursday night in Crestwood with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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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