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RedStorm baseball sweeps Pikeville College

April 3, 2011
By Mark Williams of University of Rio Grande

Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team closed out the home portion of the 2011 regular season schedule with a doubleheader sweep of Pikeville College on Sunday afternoon at Bob Evans Field, taking the twinbill by scores of 6-0 and 7-5.  The RedStorm swept the four-game series and have now won seven games in a row.

Rio Grande (26-16, 11-7 MSC E) moved back into sole possession of first place in the Mid-South Conference East Division with the two wins on Sunday. 

In game one, Rio Grande received a masterful pitching performance from sophomore Eric Ford (Chagrin Falls, OH). Ford (4-2) went the distance and made key pitches to get out of a couple of jams in picking up the victory.  Ford scattered nine hits while striking out nine and walking two.  It was his first collegiate shutout.

Senior shortstop Brad Konrad (Maumee, OH) helped to blow the game wide open with a two-run home run as a part of a four-run fifth inning.  Konrad was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI's.  Senior first baseman Francisco Ramirez (Columbus, OH) also went 2-for-3 with two RBI's.  

Sophomore designated hitter Shane Spies (Polk, OH) added a solo home run, his fourth of the season in the fifth inning.

Senior centerfielder Ryan Weaver (Baltimore, OH), junior catcher Brian Suerdick (Dayton, OH) and senior Dominick McAllister (Columbus, OH) all added one hit each and senior leftfielder Michael Lynch (Cleveland, OH) scored two runs.

Obed Quiles and Andrew Hitchcock had two hits each to pace the Pikeville College offense.

In game two, Rio Grande grabbed a 5-1 lead after a four-run fifth inning, only to see Pikeville (6-21-2, 4-14 AMC E) respond with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game at 5-5.

Rio would score twice in the bottom of the sixth inning and then held on for a 7-5 win.

Ramirez swung the big bat for the RedStorm, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI's.  Ramirez's home run was his seventh of the season.  Lynch was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored and Spies was 2-for-3. 

Konrad was 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.  Weaver and sophomore third baseman Robbie Easterling (Proctorville, OH) added one hit each and Weaver scored two runs. 

Junior Ryan Chapman (Racine, OH) started the game and pitched into the sixth inning.  He gave up eight hits, allowing three runs (two earned) and fanned eight. 

Freshman Michael Deitsch (Cincinnati, OH) was the winning pitcher in relief.  Deitsch (2-0) registered an inning and walked a batter.  Senior Desmond Sullivan (Scarborough, Ontario) came in to get the last out for his first save of the season. 

Adam Overbay paced the Bears, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.  Pikeville carved out 13 hits in the second game. 

"Again, I think we had some timely hitting.  The thing that was nice was that we answered after they scored their big inning, we came back and put two more on the board," Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont said.  "Again, we got decent pitching, we experimented a little bit with Chappy (Ryan Chapman), we lengthened him innings-wise and we got him to 80 pitches, which was outstanding for him."

"We got out-hit, but when you get timely hits, those mean a little more than two-out singles with nobody on and I think we did a good job swinging the bat with runners in scoring position," he added.  "In the first game, Eric threw an outstanding game, shutout.  He gave us what we needed, he came out and did an outstanding job; he just threw a gem for us."

Rio Grande will travel to WVU Tech next Saturday and Sunday for a four-game series.  Saturday's doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.  Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage. 

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