RiverHawks rally to pick up split
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June 19, 2010 - GARY, Ind. – Defensive miscues and a lack of clutch hitting did in the Rockford RiverHawks early on Saturday. A reversal late Saturday night prevented a sweep by the Gary SouthShore RailCats.

The RiverHawks committed two errors and gave up two critical unearned runs in a 4-3 loss in the series opener. In the nightcap, Rockford rallied for five runs in the final inning and beat the RailCats, 8-5, at U.S. Steel Yard.

The go-ahead run scored when Randall Simon’s hard grounder bounced past Gary third baseman Jeff Beachum with one out in the seventh inning. Patrick O’Sullivan followed with a two-run double.

The RiverHawks have won five of seven. They had lost five straight meetings with the RailCats.

The opener was the completion of Friday’s thunderstorm-suspended game, led 2-1 by the RiverHawks when play was halted after three innings. On Saturday, Jono Brooks hit a home run in the fourth inning, but the RailCats scored three runs in the sixth to win.

The RailCats nudged the tying and go-ahead runs around the bases in the sixth. Kyle Wright (2-2), whose scheduled start Friday was pushed back to a five-inning relief role on Saturday, began the inning with a strikeout of Adam Klein. However, Klein reached base after he swung at what was ruled a wild third strike. Louis Ott singled to center field and Mike Massaro reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Jeff Beachum tapped an infield hit down the line at third base to drive in Klein. With two outs, Rockford second baseman David Cooper let Mike Rohde’s grounder slip by for a two-run error.

The last 13 Rockford hitters went down in order. Zeb Engle (3-0) won in relief. Andy Shipman struck out the side in the ninth inning for his ninth save.

Jason James was 0-for-4 with a RBI groundout and his 16-game hitting streak ended.

In the regularly scheduled game, Jake Eigsti hit a three-run homer in the third inning to give Rockford a 3-2 lead. Gary took the lead with two fourth inning runs on an error and RBI singles by Klein and Ott. Mike Massaro added a RBI single in the sixth inning to pad the RailCats’ lead to 5-3.

Gary reliever Aaron Cook (1-1), who had entered with two on and one out in the top of the sixth inning and thrown one pitch for a double play, faced 11 batters in the Rockford seventh. Evan McArthur led off with a bunt single and Cooper, a pinch-hitter, was hit by the pitch. Rather than bunt, Kevin House swung away and singled to right-center to drive in McArthur. Eigsti followed with a game-tying RBI single. After James hit into a fielder’s choice at home plate, Eigsti scored the go-ahead run on Beachum’s error and O’Sullivan doubled to right-center.

Rockford closer Scott Roehl gave up a walk and a single, both with one out, but picked up his seventh save. Jon Huizinga (3-0) won in relief.

The series finale is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday and is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN 1380 and online at ESPN 1380.com.

The RiverHawks are home at 6:05 p.m. Monday to finish a suspended game against Fargo-Moorhead and then play the regularly scheduled game. It’s the WIFR-Channel 23 Buyout Night.

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.


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