Rio Grande Sports Information
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Trent Downs pitched like a senior who wasn't ready for his collegiate career to come to an end.
The senior right-hander fired a five-hit shutout in leading the University of Rio Grande past Point Park University, 5-0, in the River States Conference Baseball Tournament, Sunday afternoon, at VA Memorial Stadium.
The third-seeded RedStorm rebounded from an opening round loss to Midway University on Saturday night and remained alive in the double-elimination tourney.
Head coach Brad Warnimont's squad improved to 34-18-1 with the victory and will face No. 5 seed WVU-Tech - a 5-4 winner over sixth-seeded Brescia on Sunday - in another elimination game on Monday at 3 p.m.
Point Park, the tourney's top seed, slipped to 36-18 with the loss, its fourth in five meetings with Rio Grande this season.
The Pioneers will face No. 21 Indiana University Southeast - the tourney's No. 2 seed - in an elimination game on Monday at 11 a.m. after the Grenadiers suffered a 16-11 loss to fourth-seeded Midway on Sunday night.
The PPU-IUS winner will play again on Monday, meeting Midway at 7 p.m.
For Rio Grande, Sunday's win over the Pioneers was all about Downs.
The Chillicothe, Ohio native scattered five hits and walked just one, while striking out four en route to his 10th win in 12 decisions and his second shutout of the year.
Downs, who improved to 2-0 against PPU this season, was also the beneficiary of two double-plays and a handful of dazzling defensive plays from his teammates throughout the afternoon.
Downs got all of the offensive help he would need in the opening inning, as the RedStorm parlayed three hits off Point Park starter Nick Beardsley and a pair of Pioneer errors into three runs.
Senior Luis Jimenez (Salinas, Puerto Rico) led off the game by reaching on an error and moved to second on a single by senior Daryin Lewis (Circleville, OH), before both rode home on a triple to right-center by senior Carlos Flores (Guayanilla, Puerto Rico).
One out later, junior Kameron Herring (Heath, OH) plated Flores with a single to left to make it 3-0.
Herring added another RBI hit with two outs in the third inning, again scoring Flores, who had reached on a one-out double.
Rio Grande added its final run in the seventh inning when junior Ty Warnimont (Rio Grande, OH) was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout and scored on a wild pitch by Beardsley.
Beardsley, who entered the game with a 5-0 record, a 1.88 earned run average and an opponents batting average of .172, allowed six hits and five runs - four earned - over 6-2/3 innings in suffering the loss. He walked one and struck out three.
Lewis, Flores and Herring all had two hits in the win for Rio Grande.
Addison Domingo went 2-for-3 and Edberg Dominguez had a double in the loss for Point Park.
The double by Dominguez led off the third inning, but he was left stranded at third base.
The first of Domingo's two singles came in the fifth inning after a leadoff hit by Daniel Sanchez, but Downs escaped the jam by retiring Cole Johnson on a flyable to foul territory in right field and inducing Stefan Mrkonja into bouncing into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double-play.
Domingo's second hit led off the home half of the eighth inning, but Johnson hit into a 6-4-3 double-play to short-circuit any hopes of mounting a comeback.