‘Bolts rally to beat RiverHawks, 3-2, in 10
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September 4, 2007 - CRESTWOOD, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks reached the playoffs by winning their last three regular-season games, two in walkoff fashion. On Tuesday, they lost their postseason opener in a similar manner.

Windy City’s Wes Long walked with the bases loaded to force home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning and beat the RiverHawks, 3-2, in Game 1 of the Frontier League Division Series.

The RiverHawks blew a 2-0 lead and wasted a strong start from Brady Salter. Salter, who pitched on three days’ rest, had a no-hitter until Long’s two-out single in the sixth inning and left with a two-hit shutout after 7 1/3 innings.

Rockford scored on a RBI single by Roberto Valiente in the second inning and a run-scoring infield hit by Jason James in the eighth inning. After James’ base hit, the Windy City bullpen retired the final eight Rockford hitters in order, five by strikeout. Closer Matt Petty struck out two in a perfect 10th inning and won in relief.

Rockford closer Jason Baca gave up two unearned runs in the ninth. Mike Coles led off with a double. Long stayed at the plate after a foul popup was dropped for one error, then reached on an errant throw. Coles scored after a sacrifice and a groundout. Long scored the tying run on Gilberto Mejia’s two-out single to center field.

In the bottom of the 10th, Baca hit John McCarthy with a 3-0 pitch and left after a sacrifice. Dane Towery entered and gave up an infield single to Rob Marconi that advanced the winning run to third. Towery intentionally walked Coles to load the bases and walked Long on four pitches to force McCarthy across the plate. Baca took the loss.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. The RiverHawks host Game 3 at 7:05 p.m. Friday. All bottled beer is just $2. In addition, all fans who purchase a 2008 ticket plan and put at least 10 percent down by the close of business on Friday will receive free tickets to all 2007 playoff games at Road Ranger Stadium.

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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