RiverHawks rally, win in extra innings
« Back
May 22, 2010 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – A ground ball that could have turned into an extra-inning loss for the Rockford RiverHawks turned into their first extra-inning win of the season.

Jason James avoided a potential game-ending double play with a takeout slide at second base and a green light from third-base coach Spiro Lempesis brought home both Kevin House and David Cooper on a ball that didn’t leave the infield. The tying and winning runs scored on Rich Austin’s broken-bat 10th-inning grounder on Saturday as the RiverHawks thrice rallied and beat Schaumburg, 5-4, in front of 2,182 at Road Ranger Stadium.

It was the perfect finish to a night of aggressive baserunning and clutch hitting. House twice reached base after working the count full – with one out in the 10th inning, House reached on a Texas League double. Cooper walked. Schaumburg right-hander Matt Elliott (0-1) hit James with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Elliott got two called strikes on Austin, then broke his bat on a grounder to Flyers second baseman Tom Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald bobbled the ball, then flipped to second for the forceout on James, but shortstop Travis Brown was unable to complete the double play as House scored the tying run and Cooper crossed with the game-winner.

The RiverHawks had one walkoff win last year, and it took until Aug. 30, when Brandon Cohen hit a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to beat Southern Illinois, 7-6, in the nightcap of a doubleheader.

The Flyers had leads of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3. Antoan Richardson led off the game with a bunt single, advanced two bases on a groundout and scored on a second groundout. Rockford tied it with an unearned run in the bottom of the third. Jono Brooks walked on a 3-2 pitch and stole second. House hit a fly to the fence in dead center field. Richardson made an over-the-shoulder catch. Brooks tagged and scored from second when Richardson missed the cutoff man.

The Flyers regained the lead on a pair of two-out hits – a fourth-inning single to left from Kelly Hunt and a fifth-inning bloop to left from Joe Nowicki. James tied the game at 3-3 with a double to left on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the Rockford fifth inning.

In the Schaumburg 10th, Richard Mercado singled in a two-out, two-strike run, but Rockford reliever Jon Huizinga (1-0) got off the hook and got the win thanks to the RiverHawks’ two-run rally in the bottom of the inning.

The series finale is at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. It’s Photo Day – the first 1,000 receive Road Ranger Stadium Photo Frames and players will be available for pregame photos and postgame autographs. It’s also Cost Cutters Family Day, when kids can run the bases after the game. Kids can also ride the stadium train for free, courtesy of Midwest Rail Junction and the Illinois Railway Museum.

The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league in its 18th season. 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.


 Search Archives
Search for:

Browse archives

©2006, Rockford RiverHawks. All rights reserved.