RIO GRANDE, Ohio – The University of Rio Grande backed up a trio of two-run innings with a pair of three-run frames and cruised to a 12-3 win over visiting Miami University-Hamilton, Tuesday afternoon, in non-conference baseball action at Bob Evans Field.
The RedStorm, who had divided a doubleheader with Harriers in Chillicothe back in early March, won for the fourth time in their last five outings and improved to 21-26 on the season.
Miami-Hamilton, which had won five of its previous six outings entering play on Tuesday, slipped to 24-14 with the loss.
Sophomore Kirk Yates (Chillicothe, OH) had two hits and drove in three runs to lead the Rio offensive attack, while junior Anthony Knittel (Portsmouth, OH) had two hits and two RBIs and sophomore Chris Ford (Athens, OH) also knocked in a pair of runs.
Junior Ryan Christophel (Cincinnati, OH), the second of five RedStorm pitchers earned the win – his third in four decisions this season. The left-hander allowed one hit and run over three innings.
Daniel Franschetti had two hits and drove in a run for the Harriers, while Ryan Griffis also had two hits and Heath Stricker drove in two runs.
Chris Ticherich started and took the loss for Miami-Hamilton, allowing six hits and seven runs – only three of which were earned – in 5-2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Six of Rio Grande’s 12 runs were unearned as the result of four errors by the Harriers.
Rio Grande jumped to a 2-0 first inning lead on a run-scoring double by senior Marcus Makuch (Baltimore, OH) and a subsequent RBI single by Yates, but MU-H grabbed a lead of its own with two runs in the second inning and another marker in the third.
Stricker had a two-run bases loaded single off of Knittel, the starter for Rio Grande, in the second inning and Franschetti had an RBI hit off of Christophel in the third, but that was the extent of the offensive output for the visitors.
Rio Grande regained the lead with three unearned runs in the bottom of the third, two of which scored directly on errors and the other on a groundout by Ford.
The RedStorm then tacked on two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Freshman Carlos Flores (Guayanilla, Puerto Rico) drove in one of the sixth inning markers with a fielder’s choice grounder to second, while Knittel had an RBI single in the seventh.
The final three runs of the game came against MU-H relievers Tyler Stansbury and Grant Ballou in the eighth. Yates and Ford were both hit by pitches with two outs and the bases loaded to force in runs and Knittel drew a bases-loaded walk to plate the final run of the day.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday afternoon when it travels to Lebanon, Tenn. to face Cumberland University in the first game of a three-game weekend series. The RedStorm need a series sweep of the Bulldogs, along with help from the University of the Cumberlands and the University of Pikeville, in order to qualify for the upcoming MSC tourney.
Friday’s first pitch is set for 3 p.m. EDT.