RiverHawks trade for pitcher
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January 23, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks have added an inning-eating arm to their pitching staff.

The team announced Friday that it had acquired pitcher Justin Phillips from the Shreveport-Bossier Captains of the independent American Association in exchange for future considerations. Phillips, 24, is a former Kansas City farmhand.

Phillips was 4-12 with a 5.79 earned-run average in 19 starts. He pitched five complete games and two shutouts – he was second in the league in both categories. Phillips struck out 92 and walked a league-high 52 in 115 innings. The left-hander also suffered the most losses in the league.

“He had a losing record for a poor ballclub, but he’s got a high-ceiling potential, especially with (manager) Bob Koopmann working with him,” director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said.

The Royals signed the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Phillips as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He was 3-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 appearances with Idaho Falls in the Rookie-level Pioneer League.

In 2007, Phillips’ senior year at Harding (Ark.) University, he was a third-team member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II All-American Team. He tied the school’s single-season victory record with a 10-3 mark and a struck out a record 121 – 17 of them in one start. He completed 11 of his 13 starts and pitched five shutouts.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 17th season this summer. The RiverHawks will begin their eighth season at 7:05 p.m. May 21 at Windy City and play their home opener at 7:05 p.m. May 26 against the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. The RiverHawks host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. on July 15. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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