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Riverhawks Even Series By Piling On the Runs


A late-inning explosion of runs sent the Hawks ahead 13-4 over the Raptors

Box Score

By Cody F. Schmidt

The 9th inning tension the Edmonton Riverhawks have gotten used to over these early few games in the 2024 season was absent tonight, as the squad amassed a calamity of runs in the 6th and 7th innings to secure this game early. Backed by three solid pitchers, the offence went on a tear to win game two in the series against the Ridgefield Raptors.

While the Raptors got on the board first with a single run in the 1st, the Hawks fought right back in the 2nd. A leadoff single by #35 Trent Lenihan and a walk to #15 Jonny McGill started off the frame before #9 Mahidutt Tabata sent a ball bouncing over the fence in the right field corner for an RBI automatic double. A #26 Russell Young fielder’s choice would be enough to send McGill home for the Hawks second run.

Hawks got another chance in the 6th as Lenihan hit a liner off the Raptors’ left fielder and cruised into second base for his third hit of the night. McGill and Tabata were both walked to load the bags, then after a balk was called and reversed, #12 Rex Watson sent a double to the wall, bringing around the tying runs. Young grounded out, but scored Tabata to give the Riverhawks the lead with the fielder’s choice. After Watson stole third base he was able to make it home, as a passed ball moved far enough away that he could take home. The Riverhawks finished the 6th up 6-4 with a four run inning thanks to an 8-man inning.

Edmonton didn’t let up in the 7th, launching a two-out rally speared by Watson. With Lenihan and Tabata already on base from a fielder’s choice and a HBP respectively, Watson, Young, and #10 Demitri Shakotko went back-to-back-to-back with singles, each earning an RBI. #6 Taichi Nakao then was walked for a fourth run in the frame. The hits didn’t stop there: #36 Jakob Poturnak mashed a double for a pair of RBI, then back for his second appearance of the inning #47 William Vasseur singled before Nakao and Poturnak scored on a throwing error. When the dust cleared the Hawks would be up 13-4.

Taking the mound, #42 Jonah Prokott ran into trouble early giving up a solo homer in the 1st. He settled back down for a 1-2-3 2nd, but more trouble arose in the 3rd as the Raptors rallied for three runs initiated by a defensive error. Giving up a trio of hits and a walk, Prokott tossed his first strikeout of the night to clean up the inning. The rest of Prokott’s night went quietly, as he wrapped up the 4th with just a single against him. There were two Ks in Jonah’s appearance, and he is only credited with one of the four runs scored against him.

Lefty #28 Michael Nastro was brought in for the bottom of the 5th, getting to work quickly with a pair of strikeouts in his first frame. Returning to the mound with the lead in the 6th, Nastro only had a walk against him despite the long layover between pitching stints. The wait between the 6th and 7th was too long though, so #24 Reece Devlin came in for relief in the back third. Tossing a pair of Ks in his first inning, Devlin would toss through the 9th only giving up a single hit, a trio of walks, and finished with five strikeouts.

There were no slouches in the lineup tonight, even Nakao who went hitless notched three walks and stole a base. Lenihan and Watson led the team with three hits each, while Poturnak knocked a pair. Watson topped the RBI list earning three, with Poturnak and Young each driving home two runners.

The series wraps up tomorrow with an evening game 3. An off day Thursday leads to the Riverhawks Home opener Friday June 7! It will be a thrilling home opener including a spectacular Indigenous Peoples performances and a dazzling display by Uncle John’s Fireworks after the game. That’s just the start of a packed promo schedule, which includes tons of fun theme nights and wacky promotions. Swifties, wrestlers, fire breathing dragons, dogs and more - you never know what you might see! Check out the full promotion schedule here. Get your tickets now for the home opener and every other game this season at tickets.gohawks.ca