Hawks come out swinging in opener

Boise's bats pound out 12 hits as the team cruises to an easy win.

STATESMAN STAFFJune 15, 2013 

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The Hawks won their season opener for the first time since 2008 on Friday night.

Boise combined timely hitting with stellar pitching as it earned a 7-0 road win over the Eugene Emeralds.

Boise had a five-run third inning, and first baseman Jacob Rogers hit the team's first home run in the seventh.

Leadoff hitter Shawon Dunston, Jr. had four hits in his return to the Hawks. He played in 19 games with Boise last season, but was sent to rookie ball in Mesa, Ariz., after notching just 12 hits. One of Dunston's hits was a double, and he also scored a run.

Seven of Boise's nine batters notched at least one hit, and five had an RBI.

Boise starter James Pugliese changed his mechanics in the offseason, and that work paid off in the opener. Pugliese, who went 1-5 last season with Boise, pitched five scoreless innings with three hits, no walks and a career-high seven strikeouts.

Jasvir Rakkar, Matt Iannazzo and Michael Hamann relieved Pugliese and the four pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout.

The Hawks play at Eugene on Saturday and Sunday before returning to Memorial Stadium for their home opener at 7:15 p.m. Monday. Boise, a short-season Class A team and Chicago Cubs affiliate, is playing its 25th season at Memorial Stadium. The team will play a 76-game regular season that ends Sept. 2 at Memorial Stadium.

Last season, Boise was four outs away from winning its first Northwest League title since 2004. But Vancouver won the final game of the season to win the league championship.

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