RiverHawks split, must win two more
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September 1, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks walked the brink of elimination from postseason contention Saturday. A walk by Jason James put them two more wins away from the playoffs.

The wild card-leading Kalamazoo Kings beat the RiverHawks, 7-1, in the completion of a suspended game and needed to take the originally scheduled game to clinch the last Frontier League playoff spot. The RiverHawks rallied to win the nightcap of the pseudo-doubleheader, 3-2, on a two-run homer by Andrew Sweet and a walkoff walk by James.

The regular season ends with a doubleheader at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. The RiverHawks must sweep the twinbill to make their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. The Kings need only a split to reach the postseason and a first-round meeting with top-seeded Windy City on Tuesday.

In the completed game, Kalamazoo scored two unearned runs off three Brad Dutton errors in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. The Kings put the game with four runs on the fifth, one on a wild pitch and three on Mike Russell’s two-out homer to dead center field, his 17th of the year.

Dan Caldwell (2-0) won in relief. Dave Dowling (6-7) gave up six runs, four earned, and lost in relief.

In the nightcap, Kalamazoo took a 2-0 lead on Simon Williams’ home run in the second inning and Josh Carter’s RBI single in the sixth inning.

Rockford was three outs from mathematical elimination when Brandon Cohen led off the seventh inning with a single to right field. Sweet homered to right-center to drive out starter Steve Shippey. Jon Troop (3-2) relieved and the RiverHawks loaded the bases on an error and two walks. James came to the plate and took a 3-2 fastball inside to force home the winning run.

Rockford starter Garrett Bauer (7-5) pitched a complete game for his second straight win. Bauer struck out five, walked one and threw a four-hitter.

Fan Appreciation Night is Sunday. Every fan that comes through the gate receives a gift bag from the RiverHawks. Fans will also be treated to postgame fireworks. In addition, Flood Relief Night has been rescheduled for Sunday. Gates open at 4 p.m.

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. Most 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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