LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Gateway Grizzlies rallied for four runs in the seventh inning and edged the Rockford RiverHawks 5-2 on Saturday night at RiverHawks Stadium.
Gateway trailed 2-0 into the seventh, but Alex Guthrie’s RBI single and Richie Jimenez’s single followed by an error by right fielder Michael Hur tied the game up at 2-2. Jonathan Johnson’s two-run double off Mickey Cassidy broke a tie and put the Grizzlies up 4-2. Landon Hernandez homered in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 5-2.
Rockford starter Drew Rucinski took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning, but he left the game with runners at the corners and one out and ended up with a no-decision. Cassidy (0-1) surrendered two runs on three hits and picked up the loss.
Grizzlies’ starter Tim Brown (5-2) went the distance on the mound for his third complete game of the season, allowing one earned run on eight hits and striking out two to earn the win. Brown induced four ground ball double plays in the game.
“He pitched well,” manager Rich Austin said. “He stayed down in the zone and it was hard to get good contact on it.”
The Grizzlies managed to win despite five fielding errors. They improved to 24-23 on the season, and the RiverHawks fell to 19-27.
Rockford got on the board in the fourth inning as Jet Butler connected on a one-out solo homer to right field, his seventh of the season, to take a 1-0 lead. Butler hit an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning to push the lead to 2-0.
The series wraps up tomorrow as Gateway will send right-hander Paul Tremlin (3-0, 3.10 ERA) to the mound, and Rockford will counter with southpaw Ziggie VanderWall (4-2, 5.30 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
Tomorrow is YMCA Family Day at the ballpark. Kids (ages 3-12) get in for $2 and can use the YMCA’s extra inflatables and participate in other activities run by the YMCA. Also, kids get to run the bases after the game and get player autographs.
The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, an independent professional baseball league in its 20th season. Games are broadcast on NTA-FM (100.5) Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit www.rockfordriverhawks.com.