'04 vets in playoffs
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September 10, 2008 - Wednesday is the fourth anniversary of the RiverHawks' Frontier League championship. Two veterans of that ballclub are in the postseason with their current teams, including Rich Austin, the 2004 Frontier League Player of the Year.

Austin caught the final out on Sept. 10, 2004, as the RiverHawks beat Evansville, 14-9, at Marinelli Field and completed a three-game sweep of the Otters in the finals.

Austin now plays for the Calgary Vipers of the independent Golden League. He homered on Tuesday as the Vipers beat visiting Orange County, 6-5, in the opener of the GL finals.

Opening Night starter Justin Dowdy was signed by Anaheim at the all-star break in '04 and was long gone before the playoffs. He's now in Class AAA with Sacramento, an Oakland affiliate. The River Cats beat Oklahoma, 8-4, on Tuesday in the opener of the Pacific Coast League finals. Dowdy, who was promoted from Class AA just before the end of the regular season, has not appeared in the postseason.

Two other veterans of the 2004 championship team have completed their seasons in affiliated ball. Shortstop Olmo Rosario was a Class AA Eastern League All-Star with the Connecticut Defenders, a San Francisco affiliate. Milwaukee signed reliever Derrick Ellison two months ago and he finished the season in the high Class A Florida State League at Brevard County.


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