RiverHawks trade for Lemon
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March 2, 2010 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Second base isn’t just a keystone position in baseball jargon. It’s been a pivotal position for the Rockford RiverHawks since the beginning. All-stars and even league batting champions have been regulars at the spot for the RiverHawks over the last eight years.

Rockford’s only professional baseball team announced Tuesday that it has picked up second baseman Greg Lemon from the Worchester Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League in a trade for a player to be named later. Lemon, who struck out just 20 times in 83 games with two CAL teams last season, was the most consistent contact hitter in the circuit.

“He fits the mold of what we’re trying to do with contact guys, trying to make things happen with a little more speed, a little more fundamental ability, baseball wise,” RiverHawks co-owner and director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said.

Lemon, who started the year with New Hampshire and was dealt to Worchester on Aug. 28, combined to hit .282 with no home runs and 17 RBI. He struck out once every 17.65 plate appearances, the best ratio in the league. In 2008, with St. George of the Golden League, Lemon hit .386 and struck out once every 11.86 trips to the plate.

Lemon has played second, third, shortstop and outfield, but Ciarrachi plans to play the fourth-year professional as the everyday second baseman because Lemon’s previous team described him as a reliable defender. Of Lemon’s 14 errors last year, 12 came at shortstop.

“(The scouting report) says he’s a very consistent player,” Ciarrachi said. “Not a guy with great range, but a guy who makes all the routine plays.”

Lemon replaces incumbent Doug Sanders, who will stay in the Frontier League and play for the River City Rascals. Sanders led the RiverHawks with 49 RBI last season. The RiverHawks’ second-base legacy also includes Frontier League All-Stars Kylie Vaughn and Joe Anthonsen, who led the league in hitting two years ago.

The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 18th season in 2010. The RiverHawks’ ninth season begins at 7:05 p.m. May 20 against the Schaumburg Flyers at Road Ranger Stadium. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380 (WTJK-AM) and on ESPN1380.com. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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