RiverHawks pick up options on two
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February 19, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks announced Thursday that they have picked up the 2009 options on two late-2008 acquisitions.

Catcher Joe Dempsey and pitcher Mat Wilson will come back for their first full season with the team. The RiverHawks acquired Dempsey from Lincoln of the independent American Association in exchange for future considerations last Aug. 8. Wilson (above) made his professional debut with the team last August.

Dempsey (below) hit a combined .236 with no home runs and 12 RBI in 44 total pro games last summer. He hit .245 after the trade to Rockford.

“Dempsey was, I thought, very strong behind the plate when we picked him up late last year,” manager Bob Koopmann said. “The pitchers like to throw to him.”

In 18 games behind the plate for Rockford, Dempsey did not have an error and committed only one passed ball. He threw out 21 percent (3-for-14) of attempted basestealers.

Dempsey, 24, has Rookie-2 status in the Frontier League.

Wilson was 1-2 with a 4.91 earned-run average in four appearances, three as a starter, last year with the RiverHawks. Wilson, a Toronto native who has pitched for the Canadian national team, spent the spring with Bucknell University. He was 6-1 with a 3.67 ERA for the Bison and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 5-to-1, with a 1-to-1 strikeouts-to-innings ratio.

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 at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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