RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande scored seven times in the first inning and never looked back, cruising to an 11-1 mercy rule-shortened win over West Virginia University-Tech, Sunday afternoon, in River States Conference baseball action at Bob Evans Field.
As a result of the win, the RedStorm closed their regular season schedule at 34-18 overall and 18-9 inside the RSC.
WVU-Tech finished its season at 20-30 overall and 10-17 in league play.
Rio sent 12 batters to the plate in the decisive first inning, parlaying five hits, four walks and a wild pitch by three Golden Bear hurlers into seven runs.
The RedStorm added a second inning run and two third inning markers to make it 10-0 before Tech avoided a shutout with a sixth inning run.
The 10-run mercy rule was invoked when Rio Grande scored once more in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Freshman Gustavo Nava (Barranquilla, Columbia) led the RedStorm’s offensive explosion by going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
The trio of junior Eli Daniels (Minford, OH), senior Roanderson Severino (Reading, PA) and junior Caden Cluxton (Washington Court House, OH) all went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, while junior Dylan Shockley (Minford, OH) and senior David Rodriguez both had two hits and one RBI.
Nava had a two-run double and Cluxton a two-run single in the seven-run first. Rodriguez closed out the game with a bases-loaded single to warning track in right-center in the home seventh.
Junior Zach Kendall (Troy, OH) picked up the win, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out nine over 4-1/3 innings.
Brett Linton, the first of seven WVU-Tech pitchers, took the loss after giving up a hit, three walks and four runs in just 1/3 of an inning.
Jake Allen doubled and drove in the Golden Bears’ lone run.
Rio Grande will return to action on Thursday as the No. 4 seed in the RSC Tournament at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.