Durand, Muller win 2-1 duel
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June 10, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – On a historic night for Rockford hitting, it was pitching and defense that won the day for the RiverHawks.

Brett Durand and John Muller combined on a six-hitter on Wednesday as the RiverHawks beat Windy City, 2-1.

Durand (3-0) scattered a run on five hits, struck out five and walked one over eight innings. Muller escaped a ninth-inning jam for his Frontier League-leading fifth save.

Left fielder Jason James was 1-for-4 to break Ben Fjelland’s all-time team hits record of 311. James’ record-breaking hit was a third-inning single to center field.

James’ bigger contribution Wednesday was a key defensive play in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, Nate Hall tried to score from first base on Zach Aakhus’ double to the corner in left. James fired the ball to second baseman Doug Sanders, who had moved to the left side of the infield as a cutoff man. Sanders relayed a strike to catcher Ben Blumenthal to nip Hall at home.

Rockford never trailed. Robert Sabates singled in a two-out run in the first inning. In the top of the second, Windy City’s J.T. Restko homered to left. The RiverHawks regained the lead in the second inning when Caleb Fields doubled, stole third base and scored on an errant throw by Aakhus, the ThunderBolts’ catcher.

Windy City starter Shane Zegarac (1-2) struck out five without a walk over 5 1/3 innings, but took the loss.

The RiverHawks have won two straight and have a chance for a series sweep at 7:05 p.m. on Thirsty Thursday. It’s Miller Lite/104.9 – the X Dollar Beer Night. It’s also Jimmy Buffet Night, an annual event when Road Ranger Stadium becomes a Parrothead paradise.

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 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. Most games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380, and on the team website.


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