RiverHawks shut out Rascals, 2-0, complete sweep
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May 23, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Mike Marksbury followed a night to forget with his standard dominating performance.

The RiverHawks’ all-time saves leader pitched a perfect ninth inning to save Rockford’s 2-0 shutout of River City Friday at Road Ranger Stadium. Starter Jason James and four relievers, including Marksbury, combined to hold the Rascals scoreless on four hits in front of a crowd of 2,569.

James, an all-star outfielder and formerly part-time pitcher, won his first professional pitching start. Marksbury picked up his first save of the year and the 27th of his career, all with Rockford. He is now the Frontier League’s active career saves leader, passing Windy City closer Matt Petty.

On Thursday, Marksbury gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning in a non-save situation. Marksbury gave up three runs total last season with Rockford.

The RiverHawks completed a three-game sweep, their first season-opening series sweep since 2005. The theme was the same each night – dominant Rockford starting pitching and porous River City defense. Rockford’s three starters in the series totaled one run on six hits and struck out 15 over 19 innings. River City totaled seven errors, a passed ball and 15 unearned runs in the series.

On Friday, Rockford scored two unearned runs off Danny Powers (0-1) in the fifth inning. Two errors and a sacrifice set the table. Chris Raber and Brett Thomas hit back-to-back RBI singles.

James, who was picked twice as a junior-college pitcher in the major-league draft but instead finished college as an outfielder, scattered three hits, struck out three and walked three over five scoreless innings. Ryan Brnardic, Matt Enderle, Roy Bringleson and Marksbury held the Rascals to a hit over four scoreless innings the rest of the way.

Defending FL champion Windy City visits at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The first 1,000 fans receive an Ernie Bank bobblehead doll, the first in the set of five, and the first 3,000 fans receive a RiverHawks 2008 magnetic schedule.

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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