Rio powers past Huntington in spring finale
March 17, 2011By Mark Williams of University of Rio Grande
Ormond Beach, Fla. --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team, ranked No. 25 in the NAIA preseason Top 25 rating, powered their way to a 10-4 come-from-behind victory over Huntington University on Thursday morning in the final game of the spring trip.
Rio Grande (16-11) is now 3-0 on the season versus Huntington (2-11). The RedStorm had a very good spring trip, finishing their stay in the Sunshine State having won five out of six.
The RedStorm used the long ball, connecting for three home runs in the game, to power its way to victory.
Sophomore designated hitter Shane Spies (Polk, OH) swung the big bat for the RedStorm, going 3-for-4 with a double, a solo home run to the opposite field and two RBI's. Junior catcher Brian Suerdick (Dayton, OH) went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI and senior Dominick McAllister (Columbus, OH) clubbed a pinch-hit solo home run in the sixth inning.
Sophomore third baseman Robbie Easterling (Proctorville, OH) was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI's and senior leftfielder Michael Lynch (Cleveland, OH) was 2-for-4 with a double.
Senior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH), senior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) and sophomore second baseman Kyle Perez (Casselberry, FL) added one hit each to the Rio attack.
Senior lefty Jesse Brown (Mt. Pleasant, NC) beat Huntington for the second time on the trip. Brown (2-1) lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs (zero earned) with three strikeouts and he did not walk a batter.
Sophomore Mark Parent (New Albany, OH) relieved Brown and pitched 1 2/3 innings, posting two strikeouts and the RedStorm got a scoreless frame from junior Richard Hernandez (Beavercreek, OH) in the seventh. Hernandez had two strikeouts in the game.
"We played well, got some timely hitting and pitched well," said Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont. "I think we came together as a team and resembled last year's team at times. They went up 4-3 and there was no panic, we answered like we have in the past."
"We were 5-1 on the trip and 16-5 since the 0-6 start," Warnimont added. "We hope to continue that momentum into the weekend."
Rio Grande will move back into Mid-South Conference play on the road at St. Catharine College. Saturday afternoon will mark the first two games of the weekend four-game set.
Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage at 1 p.m.