April 28, 2010
RedStorm baseball wraps up season with DH sweep
Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team closed out the 2010 regular season schedule with a doubleheader sweep of visiting Ohio Valley University on Wednesday afternoon at Bob Evans Field. Rio edged OVU in game one, 3-2 in nine innings and shut out the Fighting Scots in the second game, 6-0.
Hits were at a premium in the first game as the two teams combined for only nine total safeties.
Rio Grande (42-10) broke through with two runs in the second inning on the strength of only one hit, a bunt single by senior centerfielder Ryan Yakura (Pickering, ONT). OVU pitcher Shayne Miller walked three and hit a batter in the frame, which led to the runs. Senior rightfielder John Storey (Wheelersburg, OH) and senior catcher Tyler Plumpton (Peterborough, ONT) had RBI walks in the inning.
OVU cut the deficit in half in the third inning when designated hitter Mike Shepherd hit an opposite field, solo home run. Shepherd would score the tying run in the sixth inning after leading off with a single and being sacrificed to second; he moved to third on a single from Tyler Welch and scored when Plumpton tried to throw out Welch going to second and threw the ball into centerfield.
Rio won the game in the bottom of the ninth in walk-off fashion when junior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) singled home junior second baseman Christian Frias (Salinas, PR), who had reached base after being hit by a pitch. Ramirez led the Rio offense as he went 2-for-5.
Yakura was 1-for-3 with two stolen bases and junior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH) was 1-for-5 with a double. Senior designated hitter Chris Mahon (Hamilton, OH) was 0-for-1 with a run scored and three stolen bases.
Junior hurler Angel Santiago (Santa Isabel, PR) started the game and pitched the first three innings, allowing two hits and one run with four strikeouts and two walks. Freshman lefty Ryan Robertson (Waverly, OH) pitched a scoreless fourth inning with a strikeout. Freshman Mark Parent (New Albany, OH) threw the ball extremely well in relief as he pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run and two hits. He struck out one and walked one. Senior Tyler Schunk (Cincinnati, OH) pitched 2/3 of an inning and collected his eighth win of the season.
Miller struggled with his control, but gave Ohio Valley a chance to win the game. Miller (2-4) pitched 8 2/3 innings, yielding four hits and three runs. He struck out 10, walked seven and hit three batters.
Rio did not waste any time in the second game, plating four runs in the first inning off starter and loser Cory Spence (0-3). Ramirez began the scoring with an RBI single and Schunk delivered the big blow with a three-run home run. It was the 11th home run of the season for Schunk.
The RedStorm added a run in the second on a lead-off solo home run from Storey. Storey's blast was his fifth of the season. Rio tacked on an unearned run in the fifth inning to close out the scoring.
Konrad led the RedStorm in game two, going 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Plumpton was 1-for-2 with a double and two walks and Mahon was 1-for-3. Rio totaled seven hits in the second game.
Three Rio pitchers held the Fighting Scots (9-25) to two hits in the second game. Sophomore Ryan Chapman (Racine, OH) started and pitched four shutout innings of one-hit baseball. He fanned two and hit a batter.
Junior southpaw Jesse Brown (Mt. Pleasant, NC) fired two shutout frames, allowing a hit and a walk, and striking out two. Freshman Eric Ford (Chagrin Falls, OH) pitched a perfect seventh.
"We still have got to be better with the bats," said Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont. "We didn't hit like a .360 ball club today. It's not about repetition right now, it's about focus and getting your pitch and doing something with it and when you do, you're going to hit the ball on the button and when you're swinging at a pitcher's pitch, you're going to get beat."
"We got beat too often today," Warnimont added. "We stranded too many runners on base, we executed our short game but that was about it. We had a couple of timely hits in the second game, but a win's a win."
Warnimont was pleased with the outstanding pitching he received. "Some of the pitchers that hadn't thrown in a while threw extremely well and I'm very pleased with that," he said. "Chapman threw well and Jesse Brown threw well in relief and that's what we needed, getting those guys some innings, going into those nine inning games in the (MSC) tournament, it's going to come down to the depth in our bullpen and those guys threw real well today."
Rio will move into the post-season now, hosting WVU Tech on Friday at Bob Evans Field in the opener of a best two out of three series. Game One of the Mid-South Conference Tournament Opening Round is set for 3 p.m. Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage beginning at 2:55 p.m.
Rio swept the Golden Bears in the season series.