Updated Mon, Feb 3, 2014 10:07 am
The Rio Baseball squad continued its tour down south on Feb. 2 against Spring Hill in Alabama in a doubleheader. The Badgers came out on top in both games, sweeping the Redstorm 6-4 then 7-1.
After a three-up-three down inning, the Badgers walked up to the plate ready to take advantage of Rio defensive errors. A wild pitch followed by an error by Kyle Findley left runners on first and third. Kyle Miller attempted to regroup after his wild pitch, but hit the next Badger at the plate, loading the bases.
The RedStorm regrouped, and managed three putouts for the next three batters, but an aggressive base-running team still got a run across the plate to make the score 1-0, Spring Hill.
After another quick RedStorm plate showing, Spring Hill scored one more run after two hits and an error by the Red and Black. The RedStorm were still not able to get anything going in the third inning, going three-up-three down, as Spring Hill piled on more runs.
Rio Grande finally got its chance at the top of the fourth, as Chris Ford walked on just four pitches, and moved to second on a putout to first. This put Ford into scoring position, which he capitalized on during Anthony Knittel’s double. They put away the Badgers in four batters.
After a quick bottom fifth, Rio returned to the plate behind 2-1, where David Steele led off with a single to left. With two runners in scoring position, Grant Tamane reached first on a misplayed grounder, allowing Steele’s pinch runner to score. This shortened the lead to just two, with Spring Hill leading 4-2.
Rio loaded the bases in the sixth after being hit by a pitch, then two singles. A hit batter led to a Spring Hill pitching change, followed by a wild throw allowing Dominic Tiberi and Knittel to score.
The Badgers sealed their 6-4 victory in their final chances after a hit batter then a home run over the left field fence in his first pitch of the at bat.
The Rio Grande and Spring Hill matchup wasn’t over yet, but stayed even at zero until the third inning.
Ford started off the bottom of the third inning by hitting a batter, then the Badgers paired two hits with a walk, scoring two runs in the process.
Spring Hill piled on four more runs just two innings later after making two quick outs to start the inning. They then strung together a line of carefully placed hits that allowed them to score four more runs.
After being down 6-0 in the top of the sixth, the RedStorm got the bats warmed up, as Ford singled, later to advance on Knittel’s misplaced grounder. Jimenez was up next, and walked in five pitches, loading the bases.
Ford scored as pinch hitter Jonathan Schob was hit by a pitch, but the rest of the Red and White were left on base. They went away quietly in the top of the seventh, finishing the matchup at 7-1, Spring Hill.
Rio Grande will look to bounce back after the consecutive losses for another doubleheader against Bryan in Tennessee on Feb. 7.