RIO GRANDE, Ohio – The University of Rio Grande turned timely hitting and a strong pitching performance from Trent Downs into a 7-0 game one win over Brescia University, Thursday afternoon, in River States Conference baseball action at Bob Evans Field.
The Bearcats rallied to post a 7-4 win in the nightcap.
Rio Grande finished the day at 10-11 overall and 4-2 in league play.
Brescia improved to 3-10 overall and 1-5 in the RSC with the game two victory.
Downs, a senior right-hander from Chillicothe, Ohio, allowed three hits and a pair of walks over six shutout innings for his third win in five decisions. He also finished with four strikeouts and retired the final 10 batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the RedStorm got all of the offense they would need with a trio of unearned runs in the second inning.
Junior Kam Herring (Heath, OH) got the rally started when his routine, two-out flyball to center was dropped for an error. Consecutive walks to senior Logan Walters (Bowmanville, Ontario) and junior Ty Warnimont (Rio Grande, OH) loaded the bases and senior Luis Jimenez (Salinas, Puerto Rico) followed with a two-run double. Senior Daryin Lewis (Circleville, OH) followed with an RBI single.
The lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth inning when Jimenez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Lewis added another RBI single, while a solo home run by senior Dan Crozier (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) in the fifth inning made it 6-0.
The RedStorm set the final score in the sixth inning, parlaying a walk to Jimenez, another single by Lewis and another error by the Bearcats into a run.
Lewis finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and Jimenez had three RBI in the victory for Rio.
Hunter Kloke started and took the loss for Brescia, while Colton Hurt had a double in a losing cause for the Bearcats.
In game two, Brescia jumped to a 7-1 lead after four innings and held on down the stretch for the win.
Alex Flock had a run-scoring groundout to give the visitors a 1-0 first inning lead, but Rio tied the score in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double by senior Carlos Flores (Guayanilla, Puerto Rico). The RedStorm actually had a chance to play for a much bigger inning after loading the bases with no outs, but managed just the one run.
Brescia got the lead back in the top of the second thanks to a two-run double by Zach Johnson and then added four more markers in the fourth – three of which came on a home run by Flock.
Run-scoring singles by Crozier, Blackburn and Herring in the bottom of the fifth pulled Rio within 7-4, but the RedStorm left two runners on base before wasting a leadoff double in the sixth and leaving a runner at third in the seventh.
Johnson finished 4-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Flock drove in four runs. Phoenix Cox picked up the win in relief, while Tyler Solomon recorded the final six outs for his second save.
Sophomore Zach Harvey (Kenova, WV) started and took the loss for Rio, allowing five hits and three runs over two innings before leaving with an apparent arm injury.
Flores had a pair of doubles in a losing cause for the RedStorm.
The two teams conclude their four-game series on Friday with another doubleheader. First pitch for the opener is set for noon.