Watson blanks Sliders, breaks all-time wins mark
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August 3, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The top winner in Rockford RiverHawks history broke the record in a performance worthy of an ace.

Veteran right-hander Tanner Watson pitched a two-hitter on Friday and shut out Slippery Rock, 1-0. Watson struck out eight without a walk, in front of a near-sellout crowd of 3,011 at Road Ranger Stadium.

Watson, 7-1 this season, earned his 19th win in three seasons with the RiverHawks. He broke the record set by Josh Tomsu, who won 18 times in 2002-04.

Watson faced 28 batters, only one over the minimum, and allowed just five balls to be hit to the outfield. After he hit Bernie Dennis with an 0-2 pitch in the third inning, Watson retired 14 in a row. The Sliders put only one man in scoring position. In the eighth inning, Nate Yoho singled to right with one out, then stole second base and went to third on a wild pitch. Watson got out of the inning with a lineout and a strikeout.

Watson retired the side in order six times, including the ninth inning, when he struck out the final two batters.

Rockford got its first 1-0 shutout by a starter in nearly a year. Derek Roper pitched a shutout by that score on Aug. 21, 2006 at Washington.

Rockford got the game’s only run on a two-out single by Will Henderson in the sixth. Matt Hagen hit into a force play, then stole second and third. Alhaji Turay drew a walk and Henderson singled to left to drive in Hagen.

Nick Tracy (0-10) pitched into the seventh inning, but lost his rematch against Watson. Watson and the RiverHawks beat Tracy, 6-1, on Sunday.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 15th season. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Some games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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