Smith hits walkoff homer as ‘Hawks rally, 10-9
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August 6, 2011 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Rookie Kevin Smith capped an eight-run Rockford comeback with a walkoff home run as the RiverHawks beat Normal, 10-9, on Saturday at Road Ranger Stadium.

Smith hit two home runs to the right-field beer garden, and Jake Eigsti and Luis Parache also homered, in front of a near-sellout crowd of 2,397. Eigsti and Parache preceded Smith’s game-winning blast with homers in a six-run bottom of the ninth inning.

Daniel Cox hit a three-run, go-ahead homer for the CornBelters in the sixth inning. Normal sent 11 to the plate in the seventh inning and scored six times to stretch its lead to 9-2.

Smith began the comeback in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff homer. In the eighth, Carlos Dominguez singled in a two-out run.

The bottom of the ninth inning began with three straight hits to left, singles by Freddy Parejo and Dave Cooper and Eigsti’s 11th home run of the year. Andy Mee (1-2) relieved for Normal, and with one out, gave up a single to Matt Greener. Parache and Smith followed with back-to-back homers to the beer garden.

Parache hit his seventh home run of the year and third of the week. Smith hit his third of the season. He’s the first RiverHawk with a multi-homer game this year and just the third player to hit a walkoff home run in the six-year history of Road Ranger Stadium.

Rockford closer Brett Durand (4-4) struck out two in a scoreless inning of work and got the win in relief.

The series finale is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $2 for kids 12 and under. All ages can ride the RiverHawks Express, sponsored by Midwest Rail Junction, Bounce O’Rama and the Illinois Railway Museum, for free. Following the game, kids can run the bases and players sign autographs.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 19th season. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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