Sliders spoil RiverHawks’ home opener, 6-5
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May 27, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks wasted numerous scoring opportunities in Wednesday’s home opener, and it cost them a 6-5 loss to the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti.

Ypsilanti closer Earl Oakes gave up a run in the ninth inning, but the RiverHawks left the bases loaded. Rockford left 10 men on base, eight in scoring position.

The Sliders broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning on back-to-back, one-out RBI doubles by Gilberto Zayas and Jimmy Baker off Rockford starter Jay Monti (1-1).

The rest of the game, the RiverHawks threatened the lead and the Sliders did just enough to keep it. The RiverHawks scored an unearned run in the seventh inning, but Ypsilanti’s Ralph Rosas answered with a two-out, two-run double in the top of the eighth. Jason James led off the Rockford eighth inning with his first home run of the year and Ross McCoy doubled in a run, but Sam Deluca doubled home a run in the Midwest ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the RiverHawks loaded the bases with one out. After Robert Sabates hit a sacrifice fly, Oakes hit Robbie Knapp to reload the bases. Oakes then retired McCoy on a foul fly to earn his third save.

Kevin Gerard (1-0), the second of six Ypsilanti pitchers, earned the win.

The three-game series concludes with a 6:05 p.m. doubleheader Thursday. It’s Miller Lite/104.9 – the X Dollar Beer Night. It’s also Northpointe Wellness/Fox 39/Dr Pepper Magnet Schedule Night. Everyone in attendance will receive a free 2009 RiverHawks Magnet Schedule. In addition, the RiverHawks welcome Sycamore residents on Sycamore Youth Baseball Night.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 17th season. 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. Most games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380, and on the team website.


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