April 10, 2010
RedStorm split with Georgetown for second straight day
Rio Grande --- For the second straight day the University of Rio Grande RedStorm and Georgetown College Tigers played to a split at Bob Evans Field. Rio Grande won the first game 9-3, but dropped the finale by an 8-4 score on Saturday afternoon.
Rio Grande (36-6, 17-3 MSC), ranked No. 14 in the latest NAIA Top 25 rating, rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first game. The RedStorm scored seven runs in the fourth inning and added two more in the fifth in cruising to the win. The big blow in the seven-run frame was a grand slam home run off the bat of senior catcher Tyler Plumpton (Peterborough, ONT).
The RedStorm had only five hits in the first game. Plumpton was 2-for-4 to lead the way. Senior third baseman Tyler Schunk (Cincinnati, OH) was 1-for-2 with an RBI, which gives him 57 on the season, two shy of the single-season school record.
Junior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) was 1-for-3 with a double and junior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH) was 1-for-4 with a run scored. Junior leftfielder Michael Lynch (Cleveland, OH) senior centerfielder Ryan Yakura (Pickering, ONT), senior designated hitter Chris Mahon (Hamilton, OH) and junior rightfielder Brandon Lay (Columbus, OH) all had RBI's in the game.
Junior Angel Santiago (Santa Isabel, PR) went five innings to pick up the win for the RedStorm. Santiago (6-0) scattered eight hits and allowed three runs while striking out three and walking two.
Pete Thackston was 2-for-4 with a solo home run for Georgetown College (19-23, 14-4 MSC). Taylor Hatfield went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in two runs.
Chase Ballinger (4-3) took the loss for the Tigers. He cruised through the first three innings, before the RedStorm lowered the boom on him in the fourth. He allowed five hits and eight runs with four strikeouts, three walks and two hit batsmen.
Rio was forced to play catch-up in game two as well, falling behind 3-0 before tying the score at 3-3 in the fourth.
Georgetown's Tyler Fisher was a one-man wrecking crew in the second game as he collected three hits and five RBI's. Two of his hits were two-run home runs, one in the third and one in the fifth. The fifth inning blast put the Tigers on top for good at 5-3.
Thackston continued to be a tough out as well as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Dylan Grandon also had two hits and drove in a run.
The Tigers put the game away with three runs in the top of the seventh off the RedStorm bullpen.
Konrad led the Rio offense with a 2-for-4 game with a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases. Ramirez was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Senior rightfielder John Storey (Wheelersburg, OH) was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored and Lynch was 1-for-4.
Freshman southpaw Ryan Robertson (Waverly, OH) suffered his first college defeat. Roberston (8-1) lasted five innings, yielding seven hits and five runs (four earned) with five strikeouts and two walks.
Jason McGinnis (1-1) pitched 4 1/3 innings to get the win for the Tigers. He allowed six hits and four runs with two strikeouts and four walks. K.C. Massie pitched the final 2 2/3 innings to collect the save.
"Baseball is a game of timely hitting, timely pitching and timely defense," said Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont. "The first game we got out-hit by four or five hits and it was a walk-away, we got the timely hits, we got key at-bats with runners in scoring position and the second game we didn't."
"You've got to battle with two strikes, we had way too many called third strikes with runners in scoring position, we had some awful at-bats, we got away from our approach and the end result is you leave a lot of runners on base and we had some situations where if we get a timely hit here or there and it's a whole different ball game," Warnimont added.
Rio slips into second place in the Mid-South Conference with the second game loss. The RedStorm trails Campbellsville by a ½ game in the standings. The two teams will square off next weekend with the regular season MSC Championship on the line.
"The bottom line it's going to come down to the match-up with us and Campbellsville in our own home yard and we've got to get prepared to get after them," Warnimont said.
The series begins Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage beginning at 12:55 p.m.