RIO GRANDE — As it tries to position itself for a spot in the upcoming River States Conference Baseball Championship, the University of Rio Grande certainly could’ve used a weekend sweep of visiting Brescia University.
And while it looked as if the RedStorm was going to notch said sweep of the Bearcats, they ended up having to settle for a series win — and not the sweep — instead.
Following a 13-7 win in Saturday’s opening game, head coach Brad Warnimont’s team watched Brescia mount a late rally and then hang on in the end for a 7-6 victory and a split of their RSC twinbill at Bob Evans Field.
Rio Grande, which had a seven-game winning streak snapped with the game-two loss, failed to get back to the .500 mark for the season — closing the day at 18-20 and 9-9 in league play.
Brescia trailed 2-1 entering the sixth inning of the seven-inning back end of Saturday’s doubleheader, but parlayed two hits, two walks, two hit batsmen, two errors and two wild pitches into five runs.
Miguel Rubio had the big hit for the Bearcats in the rally with a two-run single.
Rio Grande tried to rally in the bottom of the sixth inning by loading the bases with one-out, but came away empty-handed when junior Darius Jordan of Minford lined into an inning-ending double-play.
After Brescia tacked on an insurance run in the seventh to make it 7-2, the RedStorm did rally in the home half of the frame, but came up one run short.
Junior Trey Carter of Wheelersburg drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk to make it 7-3 and sophomore Braeden Gaul added another run on a fielder’s choice grounder to third.
The game ended moments later, though, when Surrell was forced out at second on a grounder to short off the bat of Jordan.
Jordan finished 3-for-5 with a run batted in.
Sophomore Reid Shultz of Minford, the second of four Rio pitchers, took the loss, despite not allowing a hit or walk in two innings.
The two runners who reached via the errors were his responsibility.
In Rio’s game one victory, the RedStorm scored four times in both the sixth and eighth innings to snap a 5-5 deadlock.
Jordan and junior Daniel Rutherford of Coal Grove both went 2-for-4 with a run batted in, as Rutherford’s hit total included a double.
Freshman Daewin Spence of Portsmouth got the win in relief, allowing two hits and a pair of unearned runs over 3-2/3 innings.