RiverHawks snap losing skid in 11 innings, 5-4
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June 29, 2010 - FARGO, N.D. – The Rockford bullpen combined for six innings of scoreless relief and a wild defensive lapse in extra innings brought an end to the RiverHawks’ four-game losing streak.

Jono Brooks scored from second base in the top of the 11th inning when the Fargo-Moorhead defense committed two errors on Jason James’ routine two-out grounder to give the RiverHawks a 5-4 victory.

Justin Knoff retired the heart of the Fargo lineup in order in the bottom of the 11th to earn his first save. Knoff and fellow relievers Brandon Todd, Jon Huizinga and Scott Roehl combined to hold the RedHawks to three hits after the fifth inning. Roehl (2-1), the Rockford closer, struck out three over two innings and escaped a 10th-inning jam for the win.

New Rockford right fielder Ian Church, who won Baseball America magazine’s Independent League Player of the Year Award with Kalamazoo four years ago, was 3-for-5 in his first start for the RiverHawks. Church helped give Rockford a 3-1 lead in the third inning when he doubled in two runs and scored on a Kevin House groundout. Church led off the fourth inning with a home run to left field.

Fargo rallied on Cory Patton’s bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning and Jake Krause’s game-tying, two-out infield hit in the fifth.

In the bottom of the 10th, with the game still tied 4-4, Roehl ran into trouble. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, Patton hit a drive to deep center field. Rockford center fielder Jason James ran down the fly and made an over-the-shoulder catch as he dove to the warning track and saved the game. Fargo stranded 13 runners, eight of them in scoring position.

In the Rockford 11th inning, Brooks bunted into a forceout and Fargo reliever Adam Tollefson (2-1) hit House with a pitch. With two outs, James hit a grounder to second baseman Carlo Cota. Cota flipped high to Krause at shortstop. In the resulting defensive scramble, Brooks rounded third, paused, then scored when Tollefson recovered the loose ball and threw it off the mitt of catcher Alan Rick. Krause and Tollefson were charged with errors.

Knoff, who faced 11 Fargo hitters and gave up five homers in his first outing against the RedHawks, on June 5 at Loves Park, retired Fargo’s 3-4-5 combo on Tuesday. Each had homered off him in the previous outing. The right-hander began the 11th with a strikeout of Jesse Hoorelbeke, who has a Northern League-leading 14 home runs. He got Nic Jackson on a fly to Brooks and Eric Campbell on a grounder to third to end the game.

The series continues at 7:02 p.m. Wednesday.

The RiverHawks come home to play Schaumburg at 7:05 p.m. Friday, July 2. The Independence Day weekend starts with postgame fireworks, sponsored by Rock Valley College. It’s also the Friday Fish Fry and Free Gas Friday.

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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