Pitching dominates, James makes history in win
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August 18, 2009 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Rockford pitching staff gave perhaps its best performance of the season. Jason James was his typical self. The combination was more than enough for the RiverHawks in a 6-2 win Tuesday at Washington.

Starter Jay Monti struck out a career-best nine and combined with the bullpen to three-hit the Wild Things. Monti, Elliott Cribby and Matt Enderle gave up one hit after the first inning and retired 18 in a row to end the game.

James was 2-for-3 with two RBI. He hit a game-tying, two-out RBI single in the first inning and hit his 12th home run of the year in the eighth inning. James tied Rich Austin’s all-time RiverHawks record with his 32nd career home run. The fourth-year RiverHawk finished the game with 401 career hits and became the first player in team history, and the ninth in Frontier League history, to pass the 400-hit barrier.

Monti (7-6) won for just the second time in his last seven starts. He gave up a double to Chris Sidick and Grant Psomas’ two-run homer, Psomas’ 22nd of the season, in the first inning. Monti escaped a two-on, no-outs jam in the fourth on a popout, a tapper back to the mound and a strikeout.

Monti walked one and the Rockford staff combined for a season-best 13 strikeouts. Half of the final 18 batters went down on strikes.

Rockford rallied on two-out runs. Washington starter Jason Neitz (7-4) retired the first eight Rockford batters in order, but gave up three runs in the third inning. Neitz walked Jono Brooks. Alex Bardeguez, Doug Sanders and James each singled to tie the game. Sanders scored on a wild pitch to give the RiverHawks a 3-2 lead. With two outs in the sixth inning, Derrick Walker tripled to right field. Brandon Cohen singled home Walker on a 1-2 fastball to drive Neitz from the mound.

In the ninth inning, Ben Blumenthal hit his seventh home run of the year to give Rockford an insurance run.

The series continues at 6:05 p.m. CDT Wednesday.

The RiverHawks come home Aug. 25 for a six-game homestand. They play River City at 7:05 p.m. on a Two-For Tuesday. Tickets and hot dogs are each 2-for-1.

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.


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