Record crowd watches James’ walkoff single
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June 30, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The largest crowd in Road Ranger Stadium history watched Jason James cap a thrilling rally with a walkoff base hit.

James’ game-winning single capped a string of three straight two-out hits in the bottom of the 12th inning and gave the Rockford RiverHawks a 3-2 win over the Gateway Grizzlies. The RiverHawks, who snapped a three-game skid and salvaged the finale of a three-game series, forced extra innings on a ninth-inning pinch-hit home run by Robert Sabates.

The paid crowd of 6,143 is the largest in the three-year history of Road Ranger Stadium, breaking the record of 4,881 set in Saturday’s series opener, and is one of the largest crowds in Frontier League history.

The Grizzlies broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with Chris Pecora walked with the bases loaded. Gateway starter Derek Blacksher turned the lead over to the bullpen after seven innings, but Zack Gray blew the lead in the ninth when Sabates hit his first professional home run, a one-out shot to the beer garden in right field.

In the bottom of the 12th, Joe Anthonsen singled and moved to second on Brad Dutton’s single to left field. James singled to left off reliever James Hertel (0-1) to drive home Anthonsen with the winning run.

The Rockford bullpen combined to pitch 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Roy Bringleson (1-0) got the ‘Hawks out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the 12th and earned the win.

The RiverHawks host Windy City at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. The Saturn of Rockford Service Center Youth Clinic, offered free to kids 12 and under, is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 16th 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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