RiverHawks open exhibition schedule with win
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May 10, 2010 - SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – RiverHawks old and new contributed key hits on Monday as Rockford beat the Schaumburg Flyers, 7-6, in their exhibition opener at Alexian Field.

Rich Austin, a fan favorite from the team’s Frontier League days, drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in a fifth-inning rally. Austin, the 2004 FL Player of the Year, rejoined the RiverHawks during the offseason, when the team moved to the independent Northern League. The veteran right fielder was 2-for-4.

Jason James
, last year’s FL batting champion, had two hits. So did Patrick O’Sullivan, one of several veteran players the RiverHawks have been able to acquire because of the change to the Northern League, which has fewer restrictions on experienced players. Another vet, former major-league pitcher Mike Wood, started and got the win.

The game was extended to 10 innings by mutual agreement – the RiverHawks led, 7-5, after nine.

The RiverHawks rallied from a pair of deficits. Adam Shorsher homered to left in the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1. The RiverHawks took a 5-2 lead in the fifth on a pair of two-run doubles to left field by Austin and Robert Matlock.

Wood gave up five hits and struck out two without a walk over four innings for the win. Wood threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the first inning and was touched for an unearned run in the fourth inning. Kyle Wright, a 10-game winner for the RiverHawks last year, went three innings and struck out four.

Jon Huizinga gave up a two-out RBI single to Joe Nowicki in the bottom of the 10th, but got the save when the Flyers stranded the possible tying and go-ahead runs on the corners to end the game.

The RiverHawks play their first home exhibition game at 2 p.m. Tuesday, when they host the Frontier League’s Normal Cornbelters at Road Ranger Stadium.

The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league in its 18th season. 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 the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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