JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Eli Daniels drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the top half of the seventh inning to push across the go-ahead run and lift the University of Rio Grande to a 4-3 win and doubleheader split with Concordia (Mich.) University, Sunday afternoon, in the Clash of the Conferences Baseball Classic hosted by Milligan College at TVA Credit Union Stadium.
The Cardinals defeated the RedStorm in the opener of the twinbill, 13-6.
Rio’s game-winning rally in the nightcap began when senior Roanderson Severino (Reading, PA) reached on a one-out error. One out later, senior Michael Rodriguez (Santo Domingo, D.R.) was intentionally walked and, after Rodriguez stole second, freshman Clayton Surrell (Carroll, OH) reached on a walk to load the bases.
Jacob Henry, the last of four Concordia pitchers, was brought on to face Daniels – a junior from Minford, Ohio – and missed on a 3-2 pitch to force home Severino with the go-ahead marker.
The Cardinals put two runners on against RedStorm junior reliever Dylan Shockley (Minford, OH) in the bottom of the inning, but Shockley fanned Preston Sherman and coaxed Kainan Bayn into a game-ending fielder’s choice grounder to third.
Rio took a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to an RBI double by Daniels, but Concordia tied the game in the home half of the frame on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Sherman.
The RedStorm regained the lead in the third inning on a two-out, solo home run by senior David Rodriguez (Santo Domingo, D.R.), but the Cardinals rallied again and knotted the game at 2-2 on a two-out run-scoring hit by Preston Sherman.
The see-saw affair saw Rio go back in front, 3-2, thanks to a two-out bases-loaded walk to Severino in the fourth inning, but Concordia tied the game again in the home sixth on a RBI single by Cole Southworth.
Shockley picked up the win for Rio Grande, while Ryan Abenth took the loss for the Cardinals.
Game one saw Concordia blow things open with a seven-run fourth inning and then squash any hopes of a RedStorm comeback with a trio of insurance runs in the seventh inning.
The Cardinals’ fourth inning uprising came after the first two batters were routinely retired. Ethan Vosburg later added a three-run double and Jordan Sherman had a two-run single, while Matthew Botti and Vann Acker both had RBI hits to give CU a 10-1 lead.
Rio Grande scored four times in the fifth inning to make things interesting, but Concordia sealed the win thanks to a three-run home run in the seventh inning by RJ Bortle.
Severino went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the loss, while Surrell also had two hits including a double.
Vosburg finished 2-for-5 in the win for the Cardinals, while Acker and Botti finished with two hits each in the win.
Grant Steinborn started and earned the win for CU, while senior Pierce Knisley (Chillicothe, OH) started and took the loss for Rio Grande.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Wednesday afternoon at the University of Pikeville.
First pitch for game one is set for 2 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.