Updated Sun, Feb 2, 2014 3:02 pm
The Rio Grande RedStorm baseball team continues its season-opening road trip to Alabama Sunday when it takes on the Spring Hill College Badgers in the final day of the Stan Galle Classic.
The RedStorm are fresh off a split with Marin Methodist on Saturday. Rio dropped the first game of the doubleheader 4-3, but used a three-run rally in the seventh inning to with the nightcap, 5-2.
Sophomore Chris Ford and junior Kevin Arroyo both collected two hits on the doubleheader. Ford also hit a home run. Juniors Grant Tamane, Kyle Findley and Anthony Knittel along with freshman Luis Jimenez all had two hits each on the day.
Knittell started the first game and pitched 4.2 innings, gave up three its and four earned runs. Senior Mike Deitsch started the second game of pitched six innings of one run ball and senior David Steele would close the game for Rio’s first win of the season.
Rio Grande hopes to use these early outdoor games as solid preparation for the upcoming Mid-South Conference slate. The RedStorm were picked to finish eighth in the 2014 MSC Conference Baseball preseason poll after finishing fifth in the regular season and third in the post-season tournament last year.
Head coach Brad Warnimont is looking to find the best replacements for the four regular starters who graduated from last year’s team. Rio will most immediately look to fill the void of production that first team All-American outfielder Shane Spies left from last year’s team which finished 36-20 overall and 12-11 in the MSC.
The RedStorm will look to find some of that production in the matchup against Spring Hill College. Sophomore Kyle Miller will toe the rubber for Rio Grand the first matchup. Chris Ford, coming off of a big game on Saturday, will hit in the three spot.
For Spring Hill, junior Jack Howard will make the start on the mound. Spring Hill also split with Martin Methodist, just as Rio Grande did.
A sweep of Spring Hill on Sunday would put Rio Grande in first place of the Stan Galle Classic tournament standings.