Dowdy, Watson make Double-A debuts
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April 4, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Two former Rockford RiverHawks made their Class AA debuts on Thursday.

Lefty reliever Justin Dowdy picked up the save for Oakland’s Texas League affiliate, while right-handed pitcher Tanner Watson made a long relief appearance for the Chicago Cubs’ Southern League farm club. Thursday was Opening Day for the 10 full-season affiliated minor leagues.

The Midland RockHounds led, 3-2, in the top of the eighth inning at Arkansas when the game was halted because of rain. Dowdy, who had struck out a batter and allowed a hit in the bottom of the seventh, was awarded the save as the RockHounds got a weather-shortened victory.

Watson finished the Tennessee Smokies’ 3-0 loss at Birmingham. Watson, who gave up a run on two hits, walked one and struck out none in 2 1/3 innings, was not involved in the decision.

Watson, the RiverHawks’ all-time wins leader, and Dowdy were both members of Baseball America magazine’s first-team All-Independent Leagues All-Star team last year.

Two other former RiverHawks in major-league organizations, San Francisco’s Olmo Rosario and Milwaukee’s Reed Dickert, did not play on Thursday. Rosario missed Connecticut’s opener in the Double-A Eastern League because of a rib injury, though he said he expects to play against New Hampshire on Friday. Dickert did not pitch in Brevard County’s high Class A Florida State League opener at Daytona.

Opening Night is at 7:05 p.m. May 21, when the RiverHawks host River City. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 16th season this summer. Advertising and season-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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