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RedStorm sweep doubleheader at St. Catharine

March 19, 2011
By Mark Williams of University of Rio Grande

St. Catharine, Ky. --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team, ranked No. 25 in the NAIA preseason Top 25 poll, swept a doubleheader on the road on Saturday at St. Catharine College.  Rio won the first game, 7-3 and held on for a 5-4 win in the second game.

Rio Grande (18-11, 6-2 MSC E) has won five in a row and is playing outstanding baseball at this point of the season.

Senior righthander Desmond Sullivan (Scarborough, ONT) battled his control, but did enough to go the distance and collect the complete game victory.  Sullivan (5-2) gave up five hits and three runs (two earned) with six strikeouts, four walks and two hit batsmen.

The RedStorm battled back after falling behind 2-0 in the third inning, scoring five runs in the fourth to take the lead at 5-2.  The rally culminated with a two-run home run from senior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH).  Konrad was 2-for-3 in the game.

Junior catcher Brian Suerdick (Dayton, OH) went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBI's.  Sophomore third baseman Robbie Easterling (Proctorville, OH) was 2-for-2 with a double, sophomore designated hitter Shane Spies (Polk, OH) was 2-for-4 with a double and senior rightfielder Brandon Lay (Columbus, OH) was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Senior centerfielder Ryan Weaver (Baltimore, OH) was 1-for-3 with two RBI while sophomore second baseman Kyle Perez (Cassleberry, FL) and senior leftfielder Michael Lynch (Cleveland, OH) also had one hit each for the RedStorm. 

"Des was effectively wild, he was good enough to get the win," said Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont.  "We answered big time, we again resembled last year's team."

"We did a lot of scoring with two outs and we took advantage of what they gave us," Warnimont added.

In game two, Rio took control of the game early and then had to hold on late to preserve the victory. 

The RedStorm led 5-2 going into the sixth inning.

Sophomore lefty Ken Anderson (Charleston, SC) pitched four innings to pick up his third victory of the season without a loss.  Anderson scattered six hits, allowed two runs with three strikeouts, one walk and one hit batsman.

Freshman David Steele (Kettering, OH) pitched well for two innings, but was touched up for an unearned run in the seventh and gave way to junior closer Ryan Chapman (Racine, OH), who struck out the side for his fifth save of the season. 

Lynch led the way in game two, going 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.  Konrad was big again, going 2-for-3 and driving in a run.  Weaver was 1-for-4 and laced a run-scoring triple in the game and senior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) was 1-for-4 with two RBI's.

St. Catharine falls to 15-15 on the season and is 3-7 in the MSC West Division.

Rio and St. Catharine will close out the four-game series on Sunday.  Game one is set to get underway at 12 p.m.  Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage.

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