Rio baseball divides pair with MU-Hamilton
Randy Payton Special to OVP
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande rallied from a pair of early deficits, scoring 13 unanswered runs to post a 14-6 game two win over Miami-Hamilton and earning a doubleheader split with the Harriers, Friday afternoon, at VA Memorial Stadium.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the RedStorm (3-7), who suffered a 7-1 loss in the opening game.
Freshman Luis Jimenez (Salinas, Puerto Rico) had three hits and two runs batted in off the bench in the nightcap, while senior Marcus Makuch (Baltimore, OH) had two hits and two RBIs and sophomore Kirk Yates (Chillicothe, OH) drove in a pair of runs.
Freshman Daryin Lewis (Circleville, OH) and sophomore Austin Hall (Wheelersburg, OH) also had two hits apiece in the winning effort.
Senior Michael Deitsch (Cincinnati, OH) survived a rocky first inning to earn his second win in three decisions. After allowing five hits and as many runs in the opening frame, the right-hander checked the Harriers (1-1) on one run and three hits over the next five innings.
Deitsch, whose only walk came in the five-run first, also finished with 10 strikeouts.
In the opening game of the twinbill, Miami-Hamilton scored twice in the opening inning and added single markers in the second and third innings en route to an easy victory.
Hall had two of the RedStorm’s four hits in the loss, while Makuch added a double and junior Grant Tamane (Pickering, Ontario, Canada) drove in the only run of the contest for Rio.
Senior right-hander David Steele (Kettering, OH) started and took the loss for the RedStorm, allowing four runs and six hits in just 2-2/3 innings on the hill.
Miami-Hamilton grabbed its first inning lead thanks to a two-out, two-run triple by Tyler Burdine and extended the lead to 4-0 on an RBI single by Ryan Griffis in the second inning and an errant pickoff throw in the third.
Rio Grande, which failed to score despite three errors by the Harriers in the second inning, did get on the scoreboard in the third when Hall led off with a single, junior courtesy runner Luke Taylor (Pedro, OH) moved to third on a groundout and a passed ball and scored on a groundout to short by Tamane.
The RedStorm failed to dent the plate the rest of the way, although they did manage to put a runner in scoring position with two outs in each of the final four innings.
Miami-Hamilton got the run back in the fifth off junior reliever Ryan Christophel (Cincinnati, OH) thanks to an RBI double by Jon Lasota and closed out the scoring in the seventh on a two-run home run by Mitch Durbin.
The Harriers also started well in game two with the five-run first against Deitsch. Cody Liming’s two-run double highlighted the outburst, while Durbin and Braden Burdine added RBI singles.
Rio Grande erased the deficit in the second inning, though, parlaying four hits and three MU-H errors into five runs - all of which were scored with two outs.
Lewis got the inning going with a one-out triple to right-center and Hall brought him home with a groundout to third.
Taylor then reached on an error, stole second and scored on single to center by Makuch to make it 5-2. Makuch, who advanced to second on the throw home, scored moments later when Tamane’s routine fly to right was dropped for an error.
Junior Anthony Knittel (Portmouth, OH) plated Tamane with a double and then scored the tying run himself when junior Kyle Findley’s (Cincinnati, OH) flyball to center was dropped.
Miami-Hamilton regained the lead in the third when Liming doubled with two outs, Jake Wagner reached on an error and Braden Burdine had a run-scoring single, but the RedStorm closed with nine unanswered markers to win going away.
An RBI double by Tamane and another error brought home to runs in the bottom of the third, while a sacrifice fly by Finley and Yates’ two-run triple highlighted a four-run fifth inning to make it 11-6.
The final three Rio runs came in the eighth on a two-run double by Jimenez and a Makuch sacrifice fly.
Rio Grande returns to action on Tuesday with a doubleheader against West Virginia Tech at Epling Field in East Bank, W.Va.
First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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