‘Hawks hang on to beat Rascals, 6-5
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May 22, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks turned to a pitcher making his professional debut to get the final out on Thursday.

Lefty Matt DiBlasi put an end to River City’s three-run ninth inning and got the save as the RiverHawks held on to beat the Rascals, 6-5.

DiBlasi, a rookie from Florida State University, walked the first batter he faced to put the go-ahead run aboard, but he retired Brad Hough on a game-ending fly to center field. Hough was 2-for-4 with a first-inning home run and a RBI infield single in the eighth inning.

Hough’s home run was the only hit off Rockford starter Jim Paduch in seven innings. Paduch (1-0) struck out six and walked two.

In the bottom of the first, the RiverHawks took advantage of a two-out error to score four unearned runs. Matt Borman gave the RiverHawks a 4-1 lead with a three-run double to left-center off River City starter Jon Miller. Miller (0-1) retired the following 16 hitters and didn’t surrender another hit in his 6 1/3-inning start.

The RiverHawks picked up two insurance runs in the eighth, on Jason James’ RBI double and Ryan McArdle’s sacrifice fly, and they turned out to be needed.

Mike Marksbury, the RiverHawks’ all-time saves leader, entered the ninth with a four-run lead. Bobby Mosby greeted him with a leadoff home run just inside the left-field foul pole. Marksbury, who was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers at the all-star break last season, allowed three runs in his half-season with Rockford in 2008. He gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning on Thursday. Marksbury walked two, threw a wild pitch and gave up a two-out, two-run single to Jacob DeBoer. DiBlasi then took over to finish the game.

The RiverHawks, 2-0, have a chance for a sweep of the season-opening series at 7:05 p.m. Friday. The first 3,000 receive RiverHawks magnet schedules, sponsored by Wal-Mart, Ferrellgas and BOB-FM. Following the game is the season premier of the FatWallet.com Friday Night Fireworks series.

Opening Night is at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, 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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