Freedom take two walkoff wins
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July 10, 2008 - FLORENCE, Kent. – The Rockford RiverHawks suffered two walkoff losses, by error and by home run, on Thursday.

In the late game, Florence’s Kelly Hunt hit a game-tying home run to force extra innings and hit a walkoff homer in the eighth inning to beat the RiverHawks, 6-4. The RiverHawks lost the early game, 3-2, on a walkoff error. The RiverHawks, who lost two of three at Florence, have dropped three of their last four series.

The RiverHawks gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning to drop the first game, the continuation of Wednesday morning’s rain-shortened contest.

With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Basham reached on a throwing error by shortstop Jono Brooks and went to second on a wild pitch by James Cramphin. Billy Mottram hit a ground ball up the middle. Second baseman Joe Anthonsen cut the ball off before it left the infield, but threw wildly past first base. Mottram scored the winning run on the play, ruled a single-error combination.

Cramphin (2-3), who struck out the first two hitters in the ninth, lost in relief. Yosandy Ibanez (3-2) pitched a perfect inning of relief to get the win.

Play had been halted in the top of the third because of rain Wednesday morning. The RiverHawks broke a 1-1 tie on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly by Robert Sabates. Garth McKinney led off the Florence seventh inning with his 12th home run.

In the regularly scheduled game, shortened to seven innings, Brooks homered in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie. In the seventh inning, Hunt homered with one out to tie the score at 2-2.

In the top of the eighth, Anthonsen singled with one out. His hitting streak is at a career-best 12 games. Brad Dutton followed with a base hit. Jason James doubled in Anthonsen. Tony Gonzalez added a bases-loaded RBI single.

In the bottom of the inning, Rockford reliever Tim Flattery (1-1) walked three straight with one out. Josh Lex hit a sacrifice fly to cut Rockford’s lead to a run. Hunt drilled a 3-0 pitch into the parking lot behind left field. Hunt, who hit four homers in the series, leads the Frontier League with 17 home runs.

Cody Castle (1-1), who gave up both Rockford runs in the top of the eighth, won in relief. Rockford starter Taylor Sinclair struck out six and allowed one earned run on three hits over seven innings, but got a no-decision.

The RiverHawks open a three-game series at Chillicothe at 6:05 p.m. CDT Friday.

The RiverHawks, on a nine-game trip, do not play a home game until July 18, when River City visits at 7:05 p.m. Culver’s and 104.9 – the X sponsor RiverHawks Baseball Card Night #3, an eight-card subset featuring current RiverHawks, a former RiverHawks great and a WXRX DJ. FatWallet.com and WIFR sponsor the Friday Night Fireworks Series following the game.

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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