Updated Tue, Mar 25, 2014 8:04 pm
The Rio Grande RedStorm survived a late scare to prevail 4-3 in seven innings on the road over the Ohio-Chillicothe Hilltoppers on Tuesday afternoon. The teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the second game was postponed due to snow.
Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Rio Grande (13-17, 3-9 MSC) brought in Mike Deitsch for the save. Deitsch, a senior, has started in six of his nine appearances this season, but was in the closing role for the first time on Tuesday.
After getting the first two OU-Chillicothe batters of the inning out easily, the Hilltoppers had three straight two-out hits, one of them driving in a run. With runners on second and third, Rio manager Brad Warnimont elected to intentionally walk OUC’s cleanup hitter to load the bases and face the Hilltoppers’ Mike Hamilton.
Hamilton had reached base in all three of his previous plate appearances, but Deitsch buckled down and forced an easy fly out to end the game.
“We were nervous a little bit, but [Deitsch is] a senior. He’s my ace,” Warnimont said. “I knew he could pitch out of it. I don’t know who else I’d rather have in there.”
Rio Grande’s go-ahead run in the fifth and an insurance run in the sixth both came off wild pitches by OUC’s Adam Woods. Woods earned the loss, despite allowing just two hits and earned run in 3 1/3 innings of work.
The RedStorm had just four hits on the afternoon. Centerfielder Carlos Flores had Rio Grande’s only RBI, knocking in two on a two-out single in the fourth. Kirk Yates (2-1) picked up the win for the RedStorm, allowing two runs and four hits in four innings.
“Flores had a timely hit,” Warnimont said. “We had some quality at-bats out of kids. We need more of that if we’re gonna be successful.”
The win was the third consecutive victory for Rio after being swept over the weekend by Georgetown.