RiverHawks cage Grizzlies, 11-2
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July 1, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Rockford’s United Nations battery led the RiverHawks to an 11-2 win over the Gateway Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Ontario native Tanner Watson pitched seven innings for the win in the matinee and stayed perfect in Canada Day starts. Pitchers from Minnesota, the Dominican Republic and Russia combined to pitch two hitless innings of relief. Catcher Robert Sabates, a Cuban exile, was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, in front of a near-sellout crowd of 2,643 at Road Ranger Stadium.

Doug Sanders, Jason James and Todd Martin had three hits each. James was 3-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 28 games. Brandon Cohen hit his first home run of the season.

Rockford scored three times in the first inning and led the rest of the way. The RiverHawks had four straight one-out hits, including RBI singles from Sabates and Martin. Caleb Fields increased the lead to 3-0 with a RBI groundout. Sanders singled home a run in the second inning. The RiverHawks added a run in the fourth and two in the fifth to chase Gateway starter Paige Dumont (0-1).

Watson (3-0) gave up a RBI single to Brad Thoma in the second inning and Stephen Holdren in the seventh. In the four innings between those rallies, the Grizzlies did not get a runner into scoring position. Watson struck out five, walked three and gave up eight hits.

Watson improved to 4-0 in four career starts on July 1, celebrated as Canada Day. Marcus McKenzie, Jose Mateo and Slava Vasilyev each pitched two-thirds of an inning.

The RiverHawks improved to 17-21. They have a chance to sweep the three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. It’s RiverHawks Patriotic T-shirt Night. The first 1,000 through the gate receive a red, white and blue RiverHawks T-shirt, courtesy of the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. It’s a Miller Lite/104.9 – the X Dollar Beer Night all night long. The RiverHawks will take the field in patriotic red, white and blue jerseys, which will be auctioned after the game. Rock Valley College sponsors the biggest postgame fireworks show of the season. Last year’s pre-Independence Day game resulted in the largest crowd in team history, 6,588, so fans are advised to purchase tickets in advance and to arrive early.

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 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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