CIRCLEVILLE — The University of Rio Grande scored early and often and tied a season-high for runs in a game, cruising to a 20-8 rout of Ohio Christian University on Friday afternoon in River States Conference baseball action at Olsen Field.
The RedStorm improved to 19-21 and 10-9 in conference play with the win, snaring sole possession of fifth place in the RSC standings in the process.
The top six teams will advance to the RSC Championship Tournament next month in Chillicothe.
Ohio Christian dropped to 12-23 and 9-10 in league play, falling into a tie for sixth place with WVU-Tech.
Rio Grande scored in each of its nine at-bats on Friday and equaled its season-high for scoring, established previously in a 20-1 rout of Alice Lloyd College on April 1.
The RedStorm led 5-1 after 2-1/2 innings before the host Trailblazers scored three times in both the third and fourth frames to forge a 7-7 tie but, from that point on, it was all Rio.
After scoring once in both the fifth and sixth innings to regain the advantage, the RedStorm lowered the boom down the stretch with four runs in the seventh, three eighth-inning markers and four more runs in the ninth.
Minford’s Darius Jordan was 3-for-6 with a run batted in, while Wheelersburg’s Trey Carter drove in two runs.
Sophomore Reid Shultz, of Minford, earned the win in relief of freshman starter Jacob Napier — allowing three hits and a run over 3-2/3 innings.
Rio tops OCU in opener
CIRCLEVILLE — For the second consecutive weekend, the University of Rio Grande found itself falling short of a needed series sweep.
This time around, though, Mother Nature played a big role in preventing the RedStorm from getting the job done.
After rolling to a mercy rule-shortened victory in the opening game, Rio saw its late game-two rally short-circuited by rain in a doubleheader split with Ohio Christian University — on Saturday afternoon in River States Conference baseball action at Olson Field.
The RedStorm won game one, 15-2, in a contest stopped after seven innings due to the 10-run mercy rule, while the Trailblazers took game two, 5-4, with the game being called after six innings due to rain.
The inclement weather came after Rio Grande had scored the tying run in the top of the seventh inning and had the would-be tying run at third base with two outs.
However, with the field left unplayable following a brief downpour, the score reverted back to the last completed inning — — and the hosts were awarded the win.
Rio Grande finished the day at 20-22 and 11-10 in conference play.
In game one, Rio Grande started strong with four first inning runs and finished stronger with six runs in the seventh inning to invoke the mercy rule.
Jordan was 3-for-4 with a run batted in.
Freshman Daewin Spence of Portsmouth started and earned the win for the RedStorm, allowing six hits, three walks and two runs over 5-2/3 innings.
The right-hander also struck out six.