RiverHawks to host NIU Huskies game
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May 1, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks’ stadium will also be the home of Northern Illinois University baseball for one night.

The RiverHawks announced Friday that the NIU Huskies will host the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 12 at Road Ranger Stadium. NIU is located in Dekalb, approximately 45 minutes away.

“Having the opportunity to play a game in a stadium like Road Ranger allows us more exposure for our program as well as lets us have something else positive to speak to our recruits about,” NIU coach Ed Mathey said. “For NIU, this game allows for us to expand our fan base, giving us the opportunity to attract folks from the greater Rockford area to come out and see Division I baseball.”

The game will be the first NCAA Division I game played at the three-year-old stadium. The park has been the home field for Division III Rockford College and its conference tournament since 2007.

NIU is a member of the Mid-American Conference. UWM is a member of the Horizon League.

Mathey said UWM, a non-conference foe, is the chosen opponent because of the regional appeal.

“The attraction of UWM is that they also are an area team with ties to the Rockford and Wisconsin area,” Mathey said. “It would helps us to capitalize being able to attract more folks to the game.”

Playing a game in a professional stadium is a recruiting tool.

“It allows us another positive feature to speak to recruits about,” Mathey said. “We played in a few pro parks in the past and it is a great experience for our student athletes.”

The RiverHawks have had a number of former NIU players on the roster over the years. Among this winter’s signings is Scott Simon, the Huskies’ all-time hit king.

The Rockford RiverHawks are the most highly attended minor-league baseball team in the Stateline. 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. Thursday, May 21 at Windy City and play their home opener at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, 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 ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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