Grenadiers deal Rio baseball season-ending loss

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande baseball team got off to a great start in its meeting with Indiana University Southeast on Friday afternoon, scoring twice in the top of the first inning.

But by the time RedStorm recorded their third marker of the day, the top-seeded Grenadiers had reeled off 15 runs and the season for veteran head coach Brad Warnimont’s squad was done.

IU Southeast used a six-run second inning to take control and cruised to a 15-3 thrashing of the No. 3 seed RedStorm in the second round of the River States Conference Baseball Tournament at VA Memorial Stadium.

The Grenadiers improved to 39-10 with the win and will face second-seeded Point Park University in winner’s bracket play on Saturday.

Rio Grande finished its season at 26-26.

The RedStorm took a 2-0 first inning lead thanks to a steal of home by sophomore Caden Cluxton (Washington Court House, OH) and an RBI double by junior Michael Rodriguez (Santo Domingo, D.R.), but IU Southeast got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning on a triple by Nolan Rogers and a Nicholas Lugo sacrifice fly.

The Grenadiers lowered the boom in the third by pushing across six runs and then proceeded to add one run in the fourth, two in the sixth, three in the seventh and two in the eighth.

Rio Grande added its final run in the ninth on a two-out double by sophomore Dylan Shockley (Minford, OH) and a run-scoring single by senior Cody Blackburn (Amanda, OH).

Blackburn finished 4-for-5, while Shockley was 3-for-5 in a losing effort for the RedStorm. Senior Juan Cruz (Juana Diaz, P.R.) added two hits for Rio.

Senior Osvaldo Duran (Guayanilla, P.R.) suffered the loss, allowing 10 hits and as many runs over 5-1/3 innings.

Rogers led IU Southeast’s 15-hit attack, going 4-for-5 with a home run, triple and two runs batted in.

Richard Rodriguez homered, doubled and had five RBI for the Grenadiers, while Lugo was 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI and Tanner Leenknecht had two hits and two runs batted in.

Josh Beams added two hits of his own to the IUS winning effort, including a triple.

Brandon Nylin allowed nine hits, but just two runs over seven innings to pick up the victory.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.