April 9, 2010
RedStorm split with Georgetown
Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team, ranked No. 14 in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll, had an 18-game winning streak snapped in a marathon first game of Friday's doubleheader with Georgetown College at Bob Evans Field. The Tigers edged Rio Grande 4-3 in 13 innings, but the RedStorm came back with a 2-0 win in the second game.
The first game loss was the first setback at home this season for Rio Grande (35-5, 16-2 MSC). The RedStorm had to play from behind the entire game as Georgetown College (18-22, 13-3 MSC), coached by former Rio Grande player Brian Karlet, scored two runs in the first inning on a two-out single by Pete Thackston.
Rio was able to get one of the runs back in the third inning when senior catcher Tyler Plumpton (Peterborough, ONT) doubled home junior second baseman Christian Frias (Salinas, PR) from first base.
The score remained 2-1 until the top of the fifth inning when Tiger lead-off batter Mike Steinke hit a solo home run into a stiff wind to left field. Steinke's blast made the score 3-1.
Rio would rally to tie the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. One of the runs scored on a wild pitch and senior pitcher Tyler Schunk (Cincinnati, OH) tied the game with a single.
Both teams would miss out on scoring chances in extra innings, but it was Georgetown that finally ended the drought with a single by Tyler Back in the 13th inning.
Both starting pitchers threw the ball extremely well. Schunk gained a no-decision for Rio despite pitching 11 innings. He scattered nine hits and allowed three runs with five strikeouts and three walks. Kevin Rueff started for Georgetown and he too had a no-decision. Rueff pitched 11 innings and allowed eight hits and three runs with six strikeouts and five walks.
Junior southpaw Jesse Brown (Mt. Pleasant, NC) took the loss in relief. Brown (3-1) allowed two hits and a run in one inning of pitching. Tyler Layton (2-0) was the winning pitcher for the Tigers as he fired a pair of scoreless frames at the RedStorm.
Rio had 10 hits in the game. Senior centerfielder Ryan Yakura (Pickering, ONT) was 2-for-5 with a double and a triple. Junior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) was also 2-for-5. Plumpton went 2-for-6 with a pair of doubles and an RBI while Frias, Schunk, junior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH) and junior leftfielder Michael Lynch (Cleveland, OH) all had one hit each for the RedStorm.
Tyler Fisher led the Tigers with a 3-for-6 game at the plate and two runs scored.
Game two was also a close encounter where hits were at a premium. The RedStorm had only three hits in the game and collected all of them in the fifth inning. The fifth frame was the inning Rio Grande scored both of its runs and made them stand up to even the series at a game apiece.
Senior designated hitter Chris Mahon (Hamilton, OH) began the inning with a double and he was doubled home by senior rightfielder John Storey (Wheelersburg, OH). Storey would later score on a base hit from Frias.
Junior righthander Desmond Sullivan (Scarborough, ONT) added a two-hit shutout to his resume after authoring a one-hitter and a no-hitter earlier this season. Sullivan (6-0) experienced only minor trouble in the game as he allowed two hits and three walks while hitting two batters and registering five strikeouts.
Georgetown starter K.C. Massie had one bad inning, the fifth, when he was touched up for the two runs. Massie (5-2) fanned four and walked two in six innings.
"We threw extremely well," said Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont. "We got away from our approach (offensively) a little bit in the second game, but our kids rallied back in the second game, played really well."
"We've got to hit the ball, the wind is always going to blow in at our yard, we've got to have our short game, we've got to be able to execute it, we've got to be able to hit the ball backside and we got away from that," Warnimont added. "We got a split, we got two more tomorrow and we've got to get after them."
Warnimont felt it was important for his team to bounce back and take the second game. "We've still got pivotal game three, which I always preach that pivotal game three is the one where we're setting at 1-1 right now and we can either go 2-1 or 1-2, we're still looking at winning the series, that's our goal, to win all the series and that's three out of four and we can still do that," he said.
The two teams square off again on Saturday with another doubleheader. Game one is set for 1 p.m. Stretch Internet will provide play-by-play coverage beginning at 12:55 p.m.