Rio Grande Sports Information
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - If the University of Rio Grande baseball team hopes to capture a third straight conference tournament championship, they'll have to go about it the hard way.
Fourth-seeded Midway University scored six times in the second inning and added three more runs in the third inning to fuel a 13-3 mercy rule-shortened rout of the RedStorm in the opening round of the River States Conference Baseball Tournament, Saturday night, at VA Memorial Stadium.
Third-seeded Rio Grande, which recorded three wins in its four regular season meetings with the Eagles, slipped to 33-18-1 with the loss and will play for its post-season life against top-seeded Point Park University on Sunday, at 3 p.m.
The Pioneers posted a 4-2 win over No. 6 seed Brescia in Saturday's tourney opener.
Midway, which improved to 25-27 with the victory, scored its second-highest run total of the season, topped only by a 15-3 rout of Asbury University on April 7.
The Eagles inflicted the bulk of their offensive onslaught against Rio senior Daryin Lewis (Circleville, OH), who gave up 10 hits and 12 runs - albeit only three of which were earned - over 5-2/3 innings. The right-hander, who suffered just his second loss in 11 decisions, also walked three and struck out four.
Midway's six-run second inning uprising began innocently enough with back-to-back groundouts before D.J. Lewis drew a walk and Tyler Jones reached on a passed ball while striking out.
Then the floodgates opened.
Reid Battles followed with a walk to load the bases, setting the stage for consecutive run-scoring singles by Josh Wenning and Matthew Olson and back-to-back two-run singles by Hector Quinones and Barrett Croslin.
A trio of Rio errors helped the lead balloon to 9-0 in the third.
Danny Maguire led off with a walk and moved to third thanks to an errant throw on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Lewis. Jones followed with a sacrifice fly to center to plate Maguire and Lewis scored moments later on an infield hit by Reid Battles and a subsequent throwing error.
Battles scored the final run of the frame one out later when Matthew Olson's ground ball to shortstop was errored.
Rio Grande got two of the runs back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a run-scoring double by senior Luis Jimenez (Salinas, Puerto Rico) and a later throwing error which allowed Jimenez to score, while a home run by senior Logan Walters (Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada) - the first of his collegiate career - cut the deficit to 9-3 after five innings.
Any thought of a RedStorm comeback died, though, when the Eagles tacked on four more runs in the sixth inning - all with two outs.
Quinones doubled with one out and, one out later, moved to third on an infield hit by Carlos Cespedes. Maguire followed with an RBI single which spelled the end of the night for Lewis and D.J. Lewis greeted junior reliever Collin Powers (Janesville, WI) with a two-run triple to make it 12-3. An RBI single by Jones closed out the scoring.
Quinones finished with three hits and two RBI in the win for Midway, while Olson and Maguire had two hits apiece. Lewis, Jones and Croslin also had two RBI each.
James Davenport (5-1) earned the win for the Eagles, scattering three hits and a walk over seven innings.