Long shot gives RiverHawks walkoff win, sweep
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August 11, 2010 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Two milestone home runs led the Rockford RiverHawks to a doubleheader sweep of the Joliet Jackhammers on Tuesday.

Veteran Rich Austin hit his 100th career home run in the opener as the RiverHawks beat the Jackhammers, 7-1. In the nightcap, rookie Bud Long hit his first homer, a two-out walkoff shot to left field in the seventh inning, as the RiverHawks rallied to win, 4-3. Long’s blow is the first walkoff home run in the five-year history of Road Ranger Stadium.

Kyle Wright pitched a complete-game victory in the opener, in front of a near-sellout crowd of 2,634.

The RiverHawks, who have won six in a row, are only a game out of a Northern League playoff spot. Gary won, 7-3, at Winnipeg, to break a tie for fourth and leap past Joliet for third. Winnipeg and Joliet are tied for the fourth and final seed.

In the opener, Wright (6-2) scattered seven hits and struck out two without a walk. He held the Jackhammers to a two-out RBI single by Roberto Mena in the second inning.

In the bottom of the second, Rockford rallied for five two-out runs. Jono Brooks doubled in two and scored on a Jon Wagle single. Wagle stole second base and scored on Austin’s fifth homer of the year, a two-run shot to left. The RiverHawks added two runs in the third, one on Travis Scott’s fourth homer and one on a two-out RBI single by Brooks.

Joliet starter Rory Shortell (2-6) gave up nine hits in four innings and took the loss.

In the nightcap, the RiverHawks took a 3-1 lead on Pat O’Sullivan’s two-out, two-run double in the third inning. The Jackhammers rallied in the seventh inning on a RBI single by Freddie Thon and a RBI double by Brad Correll to tie the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, Joliet reliever William Jackel (5-2) struck out Austin and Jason James. Long, a rookie with one previous pro at-bat, had replaced O’Sullivan in right field and in the cleanup spot in the sixth inning. On Jackel’s 1-0 pitch, Long hit a towering drive beyond the fence in left.

Rockford closer Scott Roehl (4-1), who blew the save opportunity in the top of the seventh, won in relief.

The RiverHawks’ six-game win streak is their longest since a six-game streak July 7-12, 2009.

The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. It’s Rock River Valley Blood Center “Straight From the Heart” Wednesday. Fans can donate blood at any area RRVBC location and receive a voucher good for any remaining Wednesday regular-season home game.

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.rockfordriverhaks.com.


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