Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team, ranked 25th in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll, split a doubleheader with NAIA No. 21 Campbellsville on Friday at Bob Evans Field. Campbellsville won the first game 2-1 while Rio Grande rebounded with a 2-0 shutout victory in game two.
Rio Grande (38-7, 18-4 MSC) out-hit the Tigers in the first game, but just couldn't get that timely hit.
Campbellsville scored two unearned runs against Rio junior hurler Desmond Sullivan (Scarborough, ONT), who was the tough luck loser. Sullivan (6-1) allowed only three hits, but did hit four batters. He posted three strikeouts and had one walk.
Jameel Ziadeh gave Campbellsville a 1-0 lead with a two-out single in the second and Colin Bryan knocked home the second run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Rio's only run came in the sixth inning when junior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) singled home Brad Konrad to cut the deficit in half at 2-1. Junior leftfielder Michael Lynch (Cleveland, OH) was the only player in the game to have more than one hit. Lynch went 2-for-3
Ian Pick (9-0) scattered seven hits to get the win for Campbellsville (30-14, 18-3 MSC). Pick fanned three in seven innings and did not walk a batter.
Game two was another pitcher's duel. Rio freshman lefty Ryan Robertson (Waverly, OH) out-did his counterpart, southpaw Jared Lunardi to get Rio even in the series.
Robertson (9-1) gave up only two hits in throwing a gem. It was his first career shutout. He struck out seven and walked two. Brian Chase had both hits for Campbellsville, including an infield hit in the seventh inning.
Rio broke through in the fifth inning, scoring both runs with two outs. Senior catcher Tyler Plumpton (Peterborough, ONT) doubled home Richard Hernandez (Beavercreek, OH) to put Rio in front 1-0. Junior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH) followed with an RBI single.
Plumpton led the offense as he had two of Rio's three hits in the second game.
The game was interrupted by a 40-minute rain delay in the third inning.
Lunardi (5-2) took the loss for the Tigers. He pitched six innings, allowing three hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
"We scored with two outs and we got two outstanding pitching performances, both of them," said Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont. "Desmond threw very well and Robertson didn't throw like a freshman today."
"We got some timely hitting in the second game and that's what I preached out there in between games, we got one hit (in the first game) that meant something, that was Francisco Ramirez's RBI single, I said ‘we need to be better with the bats, we need to be more focused and swing the bat the way we're capable of'," Warnimont added. "It's nice to get a split on day one and we've got to get after them tomorrow in our own home yard."
Rio tied the school record for wins in a season with the second game triumph and stayed ˝ behind the Tigers in the Mid-South Conference standings.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday with the first game set to start at 1 p.m. Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage at 12:55 p.m.