Sun, Apr. 22, 2012 - [Baseball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - For the University of Rio Grande baseball team, the chance for a win in the final home game of the 2012 season - and the opportunity to avoid the play-in game to the upcoming Mid-South Conference Tournament - vanished in the span of one disastrous half-inning.
Campbellsville sent 17 batters to the plate in a 12-run fourth inning explosion and cruised to a 14-0 mercy rule-shortened victory over the RedStorm, Saturday afternoon, at a chilly and damp Bob Evans Field. The Tigers improved to 34-14 overall and 14-7 in the MSC with the win, the second straight for head coach Beauford Sanders' club after Rio Grande won the series opener on Friday.
The RedStorm slipped to 27-24 overall and 6-14 in the league with the loss.
The setback also means Rio will be the No. 8 seed in the MSC Tournament and will face ninth-seeded Pikeville in the play-in game on Wednesday, at 2 p.m., at Campbellsville. The winner advances into the double-elimination bracket portion of the tourney and will face top-seeded Lindsey Wilson on Thursday, while the loser is done for the season.
Campbellsville, which will be the No. 3 seed in the MSC tourney, managed just one baserunner - a one-out walk to Danny Lapchak in the first inning - against Rio junior starter Eric Ford (Chagrin Falls, OH) through the first three frames, but the Tigers changed all of that in the fourth by nearly running through their batting order twice against Ford and a trio of relievers.
Lapchak was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and moved to third on a single by Chance Kopacz, who advanced into scoring position on the same the play. Rylan Chin followed with a two-run single before a bunt single by Michael Durham and a walk to Craig Edwards loaded the bases.
Ford ran the count to 2-1 on Brandon Johnson before leaving the game with an apparent elbow injury. Freshman Landon Hutchison (Baltimore, OH) took over on the mound and finished off a walk to Johnson before also walking Carlos Torres to make it 4-0.
Hutchison then left in favor of sophomore David Steele (Kettering, OH), who surrendered consecutive RBI singles by Trent Seamons and Tanner Nielsen to push the deficit to 6-0. A balk brought home another run before Lapchak drew a walk to re-load the bases and, one out later, Chin hit a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 8-0.
Durham then singled home Neilsen before Steele was lifted in favor of freshman Donson Dearth (Lancaster, OH). Edwards promptly singled to score Lapchak and a base hit by Johnson plated two more runs and extended the Campbellsville lead to 12-0.
Torres kept the inning alive with his second walk, but Dearth induced Seamons to hit a flyball to right for the final out of the inning - 39 minutes after it had begun.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth when Neilsen led off with a triple, Lapchak was hit by a pitch for a second time and Kopacz grounded into a 3-6-3 double-play.
Meanwhile, Campbellsville starter Jacob Cook had no trouble keeping the Rio offense in check.
The senior right-hander did find himself in a bit of a second inning jam when freshman Kyle Findley (Cincinnati, OH) reached on a one-out single and senior Brian Suerdick (Dayton, OH) was subsequently hit by a pitch, but he retired the next two batters on groundballs and allowed just one baserunner the rest of the way.
Cook (6-1) finished with a career-high 11 strikeouts, fanning the side in both the fifth and sixth innings and opening the seventh with his final "K" of the day.
The Tigers set the final score by adding a run in the top of the seventh against freshman reliever Nathyn Chilcote (Fredricktown, OH). Pinch-hitter Gibby Briones drew a one-out walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Durham, who finished 4-for-5.
Neilsen, who was 2-for-5, was the only other Campbellsville player with multiple hits. The Tigers had 13 hits altogether, while Rio pitching also issued eight walks and hit three batters.
The RedStorm complete their regular season schedule on Monday afternoon with a doubleheader at Ohio Christian University.