RIO GRANDE — If they’d been allowed to write a script for how the final two home games of the season would turn out, it’s unlikely that the University of Rio Grande baseball team would’ve come up with something better than how things actually played out.
Senior Clayton Surrell’s two-out infield single in the bottom of the seventh inning capped a two-run rally in the RedStorm’s final at-bat, and produced a 3-2 game-two win over West Virginia University-Tech on Sunday afternoon in River States Conference action at chilly Bob Evans Field.
The victory, coupled with an 8-3 triumph in the opening game of the doubleheader, gave Rio a sweep of the twinbill and a sweep of the three-game series.
Rio Grande, which extended its winning streak to four straight outings, improved to 24-23 and 14-10 in RSC play as a result of the sweep.
The Golden Bears looked as if they were going to snap their slide, rallying from an early deficit by scoring twice in the top of the sixth inning for a 2-1 lead.
Tech carried the same advantage into the home half of the seventh, when Rio mounted its dramatic finish.
Junior Daniel Rutherford of Coal Grove opened the inning with a single to right, but was forced out at second on graduate senior Andrew Daria’s fielder’s-choice grounder to the mound.
But junior Trey Carter of Wheelersburg drew a walk and a subsequent wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, before sophomore Braeden Gaul was intentionally walked to load the bases.
One out later, senior John Arcaro drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Daria with the tying run and bring Surrell to the plate.
Surrell, a native of Carroll, hit a high chopper off the plate on the first pitch he saw from Tech’s Jonathon Toro Mesa but, by the time first baseman Noah Lukas fielded the ball, he was unable to make a play and the RedStorm had its win.
Freshman right-hander Daewin Spence of Portsmouth got the win with his best performance of the season, allowing five hits, three walks and a run over seven and one-thirds innings.