Rio baseball drops pair to Warriors

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

BABSON PARK, Fla. — Webber International University scored in each of its six at bats, including two runs or more in five of the six frames, to post a 14-0 win and finish off a doubleheader sweep of the University of Rio Grande on Friday nigh in non-conference baseball action at Heart of Florida Field.

The Warriors, who outlasted the RedStorm, 7-6 in 11 innings, in the opener, improved to 5-0 with the twinbill sweep.

Rio Grande dropped to 2-4 with the two losses.

WIU scored twice in the first inning of the seven-inning nightcap before adding three runs in each of the next three innings to take an 11-0 lead.

The Warriors added one more marker in the fifth inning and scored twice in the sixth to complete the scoring.

Marcus Begg hit a pair of solo home runs to lead the home team, while Connor Clayton had two hits and two RBI.

Mike Castilla added a double in the winning effort.

Anthony Hunter scattered four hits over six shutout innings to earn his first win of the year for WIU.

He walked three and fanned seven.

Junior Cody Blackburn had two hits, including a double, in the loss for Rio Grande.

Junior Osvaldo Duran, the first of five pitchers for the RedStorm, took the loss — his second in as many decisions.

The right-hander allowed seven hits and eight runs — all earned — while walking three and striking out one over just three innings.

Game one was a much more entertaining affair, with Rio Grande mounting a ninth-inning rally before the Warriors secured the victory in the 11th.

Senior Daryin Lewis got Rio off to a good start with a two-run single in the second inning, but Webber International scored twice in the third inning to tie the game and then pushed across four markers in the home fifth to take a 6-2 lead.

Clayton and Matt Saliba had run-scoring hits in the four-run fifth, while Daniel Timmons drove in another run with a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.

The lead remained intact until the top of the ninth inning when Rio erupted for four runs.

Lewis singled home one run, senior Carlos Flores tripled home two more and scored the game-tying marker himself on a wild pitch.

Senior Dan Crozier followed with a pinch-hit double before junior Kam Herring re-entered the game and stole third, but Herring was left stranded.

The game stayed tied until Sjaghbar Martis connected on a one-out sacrifice fly to plate the game-winning run.

Saliba and Martis tallied three hits apiece in the win for the Warriors, while Jesse Coleman allowed two hits and a walk to go along with four strikeouts in three shutout innings for the victory.

Lewis went 4-for-6 and Flores finished with two hits in the loss for the RedStorm.

Junior Jacob Hastings suffered the loss in relief for Rio Grande, allowing seven hits and a pair of runs over 6-1/3 innings.

He walked two and struck out four.

Randy Payton is Sports Information Director at The University of Rio Grande

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing