Mon, Apr. 23, 2012 - [Baseball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio - The University of Rio Grande rallied for an opening game win, but three costly RedStorm errors allowed host Ohio Christian to avoid a doubleheader sweep, Monday afternoon, in non-conference baseball action.
Rio spotted the Trailblazers an early 2-0 lead before rebounding to post a 5-3 triumph in game one, but OCU turned the three RedStorm miscues in the nightcap into seven unearned runs and an 8-4 victory. Rio Grande, which opens post-season play against Pikeville in the Mid-South Conference Tournament on Wednesday, closed its regular season schedule at 28-25 with the split.
In the opener, the Trailblazers jumped in front with single runs in each of the first two innings before Rio grabbed the lead with a third inning run and three fourth inning markers.
The RedStorm got its third inning run when junior Kyle Perez (Casselberry, FL) drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on a double by freshman Grant Tamane (Pickering, Ontario, Canada). The three fourth inning runs scored on a steal of home by junior Phillipe Dumont (Columbus, OH) and pair of wild pitches by OCU reliever Tyler Jones.
Rio pushed its lead to 5-2 in the seventh when Perez singled with one out, stole second, moved to third on a pinch-hit single by junior Zach Dumler (Vandalia, OH) and scored when junior Shane Spies' grounder to shortstop was errored.
OCU made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh when, after Rio senior reliever Ryan Chapman (Racine, OH) retired the first two batters in routine fashion, consecutive walks to Trevor Whitesed, Ron Goodwin, Ryan Black and Bryan Keaton forced home a run and put the would-be tying runs in scoring position.
Chapman sealed the win - and got the save, though, by getting Avery Sneed to bounce into a game-ending fielder's choice to shortstop.
Junior Mark Parent (New Albany, OH) allowed two hits over the first four innings to get the win for the RedStorm, while Jones suffered the loss for the Trailblazers.
Game two saw OCU score four unearned runs in the first inning and never look back.
Rio senior starter Ben Schlater (Lewisburg, OH) allowed a walk to Black and a base hit to Keaton to begin the inning and a sacrifice bunt put both runners into scoring position. A walk to Kelton Sines loaded the bases, but Schlater struck out the next batter he faced and induced an apparent inning-ending flyball to left off the bat of Max Ray.
However, the flyball was dropped and all three runners scored. Whitesed followed with an RBI single.
Sneed tacked on a sacrifice fly in the second to make it 5-0, before Rio finally got on the board in the fourth when Dumler had a one-out, pinch-hit single and eventually stole home as part of a double steal.
The Trailblazers scored three more unearned runs in the fifth - two on a bases-loaded error and the other on a subsequent single by Keaton - to push their lead to 8-1, while a pair of hits and four OCU errors in the sixth paved the way for three RedStorm runs and a more respectable final score.
The only Rio run in the sixth which didn't score as a direct result of an error was freshman pinch-runner Tyler Donaldson's (Hunber Heights, OH) steal of home.
Schlater took the loss, while Dumler had two of Rio's eight hits.
Keaton and Whitesed had three hits each for OCU, while Keaton also drove in two runs. Richie French earned the win in relief for the Trailblazers.
Wednesday's MSC Tournament play-in game against Pikeville is scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch at Campbellsville's Tiger Field. The winner advances to the double-elimination bracket to face top-seeded Lindsey Wilson on Thursday.