Rio Grande Sports Information
WILMORE, Ky. - If the University of Rio Grande baseball team was hoping to have a measure of momentum entering the upcoming River States Conference tournament, mission accomplished.
The RedStorm rallied from an early deficit against host Asbury University for a 6-3 game one win and then buried the Eagles, 14-2, in game two to sweep the doubleheader and the weekend series, Saturday afternoon, at Zweifel Field.
Rio Grande finished the regular season at 33-17-1 overall and 24-7-1 in league play, winning its final five contests and going 20-3-1 over its last 24 outings.
Head coach Brad Warnimont's team will be the No. 3 seed in the upcoming RSC tournament and will face fourth-seeded Midway in Friday's opening round at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. Game time will be announced on Monday.
Asbury closed its season at 18-35 overall and 8-24 in the RSC.
The story of the day for the RedStorm offensively was junior Kam Herring (Heath, OH), who finished 7-for-7 with four runs batted in over the course of the twin bill. He was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and two RBI in the opener, before going 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI in the wrapup.
Herring had plenty of help, though.
Senior Carlos Flores (Guayanilla, Puerto Rico) followed up a 2-for-4, one RBI outing in game one with a pair of home runs, three runs scored and four RBI in the nightcap.
Senior Luis Jimenez (Salinas, Puerto Rico) and sophomore Juan Cruz (Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico) both had two hits in each game and Cruz drove in a run in both ends of the doubleheader.
Junior Collin Powers (Janesville, WI) earned the game one victory, allowing three hits and as many runs over 5-1/3 innings, while junior Dalton Wilburn (Ashville, OH) recorded the final three outs for his second save of the season.
Senior Daryin Lewis (Circleville, OH) picked up his ninth win in 10 decisions in game two, allowing three hits over five shutout innings. The right-hander did not issue a walk and struck out two.
Asbury took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the opener, but Rio countered with four runs in the top of the third and never looked back. Herring had a run-scoring single, senior Dan Crozier (Ballston Spa, NY) added an RBI hit and junior Ty Warnimont (Rio Grande, OH) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to highlight the rally.
The Eagles got one of the runs back in the home fifth to draw within a run, but the RedStorm was the beneficiary of an RBI triple by Herring and a run-scoring hit by Cruz in the top of the seventh to set the final score.
Colton Back, Jared Bonato and Joe Williams all drove in one run apiece for Asbury. Logan Reitter started and took the loss for the Eagles, allowing seven hits and four runs over 2-2/3 innings.
Game two was lopsided from the outset, with Rio scoring three times in the first inning, twice in both the second and third innings, four times in the fifth and two more times in the fifth for a 14-0 lead.
Flores had a two-run home run in each of the first two innings, while junior Dominic Tiberi (Dublin, OH) cracked a two-run homer - his first of the season - in the third inning.
The RedStorm tacked on five runs in the fourth at the expense of one of their former teammates, right-hander Christian Vain. Herring had a two-run home run, junior Cody Blackburn (Amanda, OH) added an RBI single and the remaining three runs scored as a result of seven wild pitches by Vain - a mark which tied an NAIA season-high - in just one-third of an inning.
Blackburn finished 2-for-3 in the victory.
Alejandro Jivanjee and Evan Lay both drove in runs for Asbury, while Bryce Anderson started and took the loss for the Eagles.