Koopmann, Regents win NAC title
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May 10, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Bob Koopmann has another pennant.

The Rockford College Regents repeated as Northern Athletics Conference champions on Saturday with an 8-3 win over Concordia University of Chicago in the tournament final at Road Ranger Stadium, the home of the Rockford RiverHawks. Koopmann, the manager of the RiverHawks, is also the head coach at Rockford College. In the last five years, he has won the 2004 Frontier League pennant with the RiverHawks and the first two NAC titles.

This year’s four-team, double-elimination tournament went the full seven games after fourth-seeded Concordia pulled off a string of upsets, including two wins to eliminate top-seeded Benedictine University. Concordia beat Rockford, 11-1, in a game shortened to seven innings by the mercy rule to force a winner-take-all game.

In the finale, Rockford scored three runs on back-to-back RBI doubles in the third inning and never trailed. With two outs, Phil Smith doubled in two runs. Shaun Dascher’s drove him in with a double to right and chased CUC starter Anthony Collaro (2-2) from the game.

Zach Jones (6-1) gave up three runs, one earned, on three hits over 5 1/3 innings for the win. Billy Kuchelmeister, a freshman from nearby Monroe Center, pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings for his second save. The lefthander entered the game with the Regents leading, 5-3, with two outs in the sixth inning and the tying runs on the corners. Kuchelmeister pitched out of the jam and retired 10 of the 11 he faced in a hitless outing.

Rockford went 3-1 in the tournament, with wins over Marian and Concordia on Friday. Former RiverHawks intern Bobby Findlay pitched a complete-game, 6-2 win over Marian in the Regents’ tournament opener.

Last year, the Regents went 3-0 and also beat Concordia in the tournament final.

For full tournament details, visit the tournament website.

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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