CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande finally had a walk-off finish land in their favor.
The RedStorm scored on a two-out, bases-loaded error in the bottom of the seventh inning to post a 3-2 game one win over Cleary (Mich.) University, Tuesday afternoon, at VA Memorial Stadium.
Rio Grande snapped a five-game losing streak with the win.
Cleary bounced back to win the nightcap, 2-0, and earn a split.
Rio Grande finished the day at 9-15 with the split, while the Cougars moved to 9-8 for the season.
In game one, Rio Grande surrendered leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before posting its game-winning rally in the home half of the seventh.
Junior AJ Thomas (Pickerington, OH) reached on a one-out single and was replaced by pinch-runner freshman Mattox Mead (New Albany, OH). Sophomore Jakob Johnson (Pickerington, OH) then walked and was replaced by sophomore pinch-runner John Arcaro (Trinity, FL) before junior Clayton Surrell (Carroll, OH) was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Cleary reliever Colin Brazil, who came on for starter Garrett Larner at the start of the inning, then rebounded to strikeout sophomore pinch-hitter Zach Price (Delaware, OH), but the game ended moments later when sophomore Darius Jordan’s (Minford, OH) routine grounder to second was booted for an error and Mead raced home with the game-winner.
Thomas accounted for half of Rio’s six hits, going 3-for-4 with a double. Jordan and junior Gavin Lovesky (Willowbrook, IL) drove in one run each.
Sophomore Lane Mettler (Bainbridge, OH), the last of three pitchers for the RedStorm, got the win after allowing two hits and a run with a walk and four strikeouts over 1-2/3 innings.
Ryan Kadoguchi and Jeremy VanOosterum had one run batted in apiece for Cleary.
In game two, the Cougars pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth inning and starting pitcher Travis Klocek did the rest.
Klocek got his third win in four decisions, scattering three hits and a walk while striking out three in the complete game shutout.
Rio Grande had just three runners advance beyond first base in the contest.
Price pitched well for the RedStorm, allowing five hits and the two runs over five innings, but suffered the loss.
Kendall Flaugher had an RBI double and Derek Zavala added a run-scoring single in the fifth for Cleary. Flaugher and Kadoguchi finished with two hits each in the win.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Thursday when it opens a three-game River States Conference weekend series against Indiana University Kokomo at Bob Evans Field.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.