RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande baseball team got it done late in game one and early in game two and the end result was a doubleheader sweep of a solid non-conference opponent.
The RedStorm posted wins of 2-1 in the opener and 12-7 in the nightcap against the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, Saturday afternoon, at Bob Evans Field.
Head coach Brad Warnimont’s squad improved to 14-24 as a result of the sweep.
The Cougars, who entered play as the top-ranked team in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), slipped to 17-13 after the two losses.
Clermont took a 1-0 lead into the home half of the sixth inning in game one before Rio Grande finally came to life offensively.
Freshman Cole Brennan (Anderson, OH) doubled to left-center with one out and moved to third when sophomore Seth Mills (South Shore, KY) followed with a single to left.
Freshman Brady Conley (Westerville, OH) then bunted home Brennan with the tying run.
In the bottom of the seventh, freshman Braeden Gaul (Huntington, WV) led off with a pinch-hit single and was replaced at first by freshman Alex Scoular (Whitby, Ontario, Canada), who re-entered the lineup.
Sophomore Jacob Johnson (Pickerington, OH) followed with a bunt single and, moments later, Scoular stole third to set the stage for sophomore pinch-hitter Ashton Focht (Lebanon, OH).
Focht hit a hard groundball off the glove of UCC third baseman Tyler Stewart, allowing Scoular to scamper home with the winning run.
The late rally made a winner out of sophomore starter Trey Carter (Wheelersburg, OH), who tossed a complete game seven-hitter. He walked one and fanned two.
Brennan led Rio at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
Stewart and Brad Davenport both had two hits in a losing cause for the Cougars, while Brandon Hammersley had a run-scoring double.
Xavier Ludwig suffered the loss in relief for the Cougars, allowing three hits and the winning run in one-third of an inning.
Game two saw Rio Grande bolt to a 7-3 after two innings and never look back.
Junior Gavin Lovesky (Willowbrook, IL) clubbed a three-run home run to highlight the RedStorm’s four-run first inning, while Johnson had a run-scoring single, Scoular walked with the bases loaded and Gaul was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second to quell a three-run rally by Clermont in the top of the frame.
Rio Grande tacked on two more runs in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to make it 12-4, while the Cougars pushed across one run in the sixth and two more markers in the seventh to set the final score.
Junior Clayton Surrell (Carroll, OH) finished 3-for-3 with a double, while Johnson was 3-for-4 with two runs batted in for Rio. Lovesky also had a double to finish 2-for-4, while Scoular was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Joe Steiden was 2-for-3 with a double in the loss for Clermont, while Davenport doubled and drove in a run. Peyton Lenhardt and Brian Zix also had a double.
Surrell started and got the win for the RedStorm, allowing four hits and three earned runs over four innings. He walked two and struck out five.
Drew Day, the first of five UCC hurlers, suffered the loss. He allowed four hits and seven runs over 1-2/3 innings, while also walking six.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.