LOVES PARK, Ill. – Javier Herrera became the first player in team history to hit for the cycle, going 5-for-5 with a homer and seven RBIs Thursday night to lead the Rockford RiverHawks to a 13-8 over the Evansville Otters.
Herrera singled in the bottom of the first inning, and his two-out, three-run triple in the bottom of the second inning gave the RiverHawks a 5-3 lead.
Herrera also singled in the fourth inning, and with Rockford holding an 8-5 lead in the fifth inning, Herrera connected on a three-run double down the left field line to extend the lead to 11-5.
He finished in off the cycle in dramatic fashion, taking a 2-2 pitch from reliever Tyree Hayes out to left field for a solo home run, his fifth of the season, to extend the Rockford lead to 13-7.
Herrera’s five hits tied a RiverHawks’ single game record last accomplished by Jason James against Evansville on June 22, 2009. His seven RBI also matched a Rockford single game record, last accomplished by Brandon Cohen against Evansville on August 5, 2009.
“He was locked in every at-bat,” manager Rich Austin said. “He came in in key situations and got clutch hits and put good swings on the ball.”
Herrera’s night boosted his average 22 points from .358 to .380. He has five home runs and 38 RBI in 37 games.
The Otters set a season-high with 16 hits, and the RiverHawks had 14 of their own. Rockford’s Rudy Wilson went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. The two teams combined for seven errors in the game.
Rockford ace Mike Lee (3-0) picked up the win, giving up two earned runs in five innings and striking out nine batters, the third straight start he has fanned nine.
Bryce Morrow (2-4) picked up the loss for Evansville. Runey Davis and Taylor Black each homered in the loss for the Otters.
The RiverHawks improved to 14-23 on the season and have won two in a row.
Rockford sends southpaw Ziggie VanderWall (3-1, 3.74 ERA) to the mound Friday, and Evansville looks to avoid the sweep, countering with southpaw Matt Zielinski (3-3, 4.27 ERA).
Tomorrow night is the NIU Fleece Blanket Giveaway, Home Window Giveaway by EuroTech, and Girl Scout Campout.
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.