Thu, Apr. 26, 2012 - [Baseball]
By RANDY PAYTON
Rio Grande Sports Information
COLUMBIA, Ky. - For the second straight day, Rio Grande senior Brian Suerdick showed the world that he's in no hurry for his collegiate career to come to an end.
One day after putting down a game-winning squeeze bunt in the bottom of the 10th inning against Pikeville, Suerdick hit a walkoff, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the eighth-seeded RedStorm to a dramatic 6-3 win over top-seeded Lindsey Wilson in the opening game of the double-elimination portion of the 2012 Mid-South Conference Baseball Tournament at Egnew Park. By virtue of the victory, Rio will face rival Shawnee State in a winner's bracket semifinal contest tonight, at 8 p.m., also at Lindsey Wilson.
The Bears defeated St. Catherine, 12-4, in their opening game on Thursday.
Suerdick's game-winner capped a Rio Grande rally which saw the RedStorm score the final five runs of the contest.
Lindsey Wilson (38-13) spotted Rio a 1-0 first inning lead, but the Blue Raiders tied the game in the fourth and scored twice in the sixth to take a 3-1 advantage.
The RedStorm pushed across single runs in the seventh and eighth innings before mounting the game-winning rally in the ninth off Lindsey reliever Daniel Pulliam.
Junior Shane Spies (Polk, OH) began the inning with a single to right and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Vince Perry (Cypress, CA). Freshman Kyle Findley (Cincinnati, OH) was then intentionally walked, bringing Suerdick to the plate.
Pulliam missed with each of his first two pitches before Suerdick - a native of Dayton, Ohio - yanked the next offering off the left field foul pole to give Rio the win.
Junior lefty Ryan Robertson (Waverly, OH) went the distance for the RedStorm, scattering eight hits and two walks, while striking out nine to earn his fourth win in 11 decisions. He also stuck out nine.
Leandro Perez, Adam Peacock and Lance Harrington all had two hits in the loss for Lindsey Wilson, while Manuel Ozoria drove in a pair of runs.
Rio grabbed its first inning lead when Lindsey starter Matt Addis hit Perez with a pitch, freshman Grant Tamane (Pickering, Ontario, Canada) laid down a sacrifice bunt, Addis fired a wild pitch and - after a walk to Spies - Perry put down a squeeze bunt to plate Perez.
The Blue Raiders tied it in the fourth when Peacock singled, stole second, took third on a throwing error and scored on an infield hit by Jeff Kerian before taking the lead in the sixth.
Perez and Peacock had consecutive singles to begin the Lindsey sixth, both were bunted into scoring position and both scored on a two-out hit by Ozoria.
Rio Grande started the road back in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Suerdick and tied the game in the eighth.
Freshman Luke Taylor(Pedro, OH) walked to begin the inning and junior Mark Parent (New Albany, OH) was hit by a pitch, prompting a pitching change.
Pulliam balked both runners into scoring position before Perez put down a squeeze bunt to score Taylor with the tying run. Tamane followed with a flyout to right, but Parent was cut down at the plate trying to score for the final out.
Lindsey Wilson loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Robertson induced Harrington into an inning-ending flyout to right to set up the dramatic finish.
A link to video and live stats of all tournament games are available at www.mid-southconference.org