BLUEFIELD, Va. — Host Bluefield College pulled away late — twice — to sweep a doubleheader from the University of Rio Grande, Tuesday afternoon, in non-conference baseball action at historic Bowen Field.
The Rams pushed across the go-ahead run in the home half of the sixth inning in a 3-2 game one victory, while scoring four times in the sixth inning go game two for a 6-2 triumph in the nightcap.
Both games were seven-inning contests.
Bluefield, which also swept a twin bill between the two schools on March 23 in Rio Grande, improved to 17-18 with the wins.
The RedStorm, who were playing their final non-conference games of the season, slipped to 14-28 as a result of the losses.
Bluefield took an early lead in game one with single runs in both the first and third innings, but Rio knotted the score in the fourth thanks to an RBI double by senior Jesse Watson (Las Cruces, NM) and a run-scoring hit by senior Eli Daniels (Minford, OH).
The Rams broke the tie in the sixth against Rio senior starter Trey Meade (Seaman, OH).
Ozzie Millet was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on a two-out balk by Meade and scored moments later on a wild pitch.
Bluefield reliever Justin Coleman surrendered a one-out infield single to senior Juan Familia (Reading, PA) in the seventh, but retired each of the next two batters on routine flyouts to seal the win.
Daniels finished 2-for-3 in a losing cause for the RedStorm.
Meade pitched well, but was the hard-luck loser for Rio. He allowed just four hits and a walk in a complete game effort, striking out five.
Coleman allowed the one hit over 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.
Millet had a double for the Rams.
Game two was also tied at 2-2 entering the home sixth after both teams scored twice in the third inning, before the Rams tallied a four-spot to get the victory.
Senior Caden Cluxton (Washington Court House, OH) gave Rio an early lead with a two-run single, while Jeremie Garcia and Millet had RBI hits in the bottom of the frame to tie the game.
David Meech put the Rams ahead to stay in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out solo home run, while Millet had another run-scoring single and two other runs scored on wild pitches.
Millet, Garcia, Meech and Clay Winner all had two hits for Bluefield, while Elianel Mejia added a double.
Colton Bochtler, the third of three Rams pitchers, tossed a scoreless inning of relief to get the win.
Freshman Victor Tyo (Grove City, OH), the second of four pitchers for the RedStorm, suffered the loss allowing two hits, two walks and two runs over 1-1/3 innings.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Friday when it travels north to Circleville, Ohio to begin a three-game River States Conference weekend series with Ohio Christian University.
First pitch for Friday’s opener is set for 2 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.