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Crowell shines through the fog in Flyers debut

June 3, 2008 - Northern League (NL) - Schaumburg Flyers News Release

Schaumburg, IL - On a night that seemed more suited for San Francisco than suburban Chicago, the Schaumburg Flyers got a great contribution from their newest player to defeat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 7-2 at Alexian Field. Flyers starter Dan Frega (2-1) got his second win of the season, and RailCats hurler Billy Phillips (1-1) suffered the loss.

The fog and mist rolled into Alexian Field from the moment the game started, and the hazy skies blotted out what would normally be a beautifully setting sun. To take the sun's place, RF Kurt Crowell (2-for-4, 3 RBI) shone brightly in his Flyers debut. Crowell, who signed to take the roster spot of Alfred Joseph on Tuesday, had an excellent fifth inning in the field and at the plate. In the top half of the fifth, he earned an outfield assist with a bullet throw to 3B Vince Harrison (2-for-4) that retired Gary (7-11) catcher John McCarthy. Then in the bottom half of the inning, Crowell hit an RBI line-drive triple into the right field corner to score 1B Chris Gaskin (1-for-3) and get the Flyers on the board.

After that triple made it 2-1 RailCats, Schaumburg's (8-10) bats came alive. CF Rontrez Johnson (1-for-5, RBI) added a triple of his own down the right field line to score Crowell, and SS Mark Haske (2-for-4, RBI) hit a sacrifice fly to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead. The exclamation point to the bottom of the fifth came on 2B Bo Hart's (1-for-5, RBI) home run to left field to make it a 4-2 Schaumburg advantage.

Schaumburg starter Dan Frega also pitched very well in his fourth outing of the year, allowing only two runs (one earned) in his six and two-thirds innings pitched. When he gave way to his bullpen, Chris Saenz and David Byard came in to pitch a combined two and one-thirds innings of scoreless baseball to preserve the Flyer lead.

Crowell gave his mates some more breathing room in the bottom of the eighth, as he hammered a fly ball over the head of RailCats LF Steve Haake for a two-RBI double. The hit extended the lead to 7-2, and allowed Schaumburg manager Steve Maddock to save his closer, Jim Popp, for another day. Byard came out again to pitch the top of the ninth inning, and extended his scoreless innings streak to seven over his last five appearances.

Now the Flyers will try to make it two wins in a row - and three straight overall - against Gary at Alexian Field on Wednesday evening. Schaumburg RHP Steve Shippey (1-2, 7.47) will get the ball to start against RailCats LHP Kai Tuomi (0-1, 3.48). First pitch is scheduled for 6:20 at Alexian Field, and if you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in on for all the action.

The Schaumburg Flyers are a member of the Northern League, a 6-team Independent Professional Baseball League established in 1993. Opening Day is May 15th, 2008. For ticket information call (847) 891-BALL (2255) or visit

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