|August 8, 2009 - MARION, Ill. – On Saturday, the Southern Illinois Miners defeated the Rockford RiverHawks, 11-5.
The RiverHawks had uncharacteristically poor pitching from a pitching staff that came into the game with the best ERA in the league. Starter Tanner Watson exited after just two innings.
The Miners led the entire game from the moment they took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning off a sacrifice fly from Joey Metropoulos. In the bottom of the second, Miners third baseman Landon Camp hit a three-run home run to left-center field to extend it to 4-0.
Pitching on three days of rest, Watson (4-3) allowed four runs, three hits, a walk, and two hit batters. He struck out one and committed a balk. His previous start was his best of the season when he struck out 10 batters and allowed only one run over seven innings.
Miners starter Ryan Kussmaul (2-0) earned the victory in his first start of the season. He allowed five runs on 10 hits over five innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. The Miners’ pitching staff did not issue any walks.
Back-to-back RBI singles from Caleb Fields and Ross McCoy in the top of the third brought in two runs for the RiverHawks to make it 4-2, but the Miners added three more runs in the bottom of the third. Fields finished 3-for-4 with three RBI.
The Miners scored three runs again in the bottom of the fourth off an RBI single from Adam Hale and two wild pitches from Rockford reliever Marcus McKenzie.
The RiverHawks last output of offense came in the top of the fifth, sparked by Fields' two-run triple. McCoy followed with an RBI-single. The Miners added a tally in the bottom of the eighth.
The three-game series concludes tomorrow at 5:05 p.m.
The RiverHawks come home for a six-game homestand beginning Tuesday, Aug. 11., against Washington. It is a Two-For Tuesday. Tickets are two for the price of one, and so are hot dogs.
The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 17th season. 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.