BLUEFIELD, Va. — When the University of Rio Grande hosted Bluefield (Va.) University earlier this season, the nationally-ranked Rams scored three times in their final two at bats to outslug the RedStorm in a 17-14 victory.
In Rio’s return trip to historic Bowen Field on Tuesday afternoon, a late rally wasn’t necessary.
Bluefield exploded for 12 second inning runs and went on to post a mercy rule-shortened 15-1 triumph over the RedStorm in non-conference baseball action.
The Rams, who lost eight straight and fell out of the NAIA coaches’ Top 25 poll after their first meeting with Rio Grande, won for the third consecutive time and improved to 23-11 overall.
The RedStorm, which suffered a second straight loss, slipped to 18-26.
Bluefield pushed across a first inning run to take a lead it would never relinquish, but blew things open in the second inning by sending 18 batters to the plate and scoring a dozen times against three Rio hurlers.
Bryce Medlock had a RBI single and a two-run double in the frame, while Reece Genter had a pair of run-scoring singles, Clay Wisner had a two-run single and Elijah Lewis had a three-run double to fuel the uprising.
The Rams added single markers in the fourth and fifth innings, while Rio scored its lone run in the seventh to avoid the shutout.
The RedStorm managed just four hits against three BU hurlers, two of which came off the bat of sophomore Seth Mills (South Shore, KY).
Senior Trey Meade (Seaman, OH), the first of six Rio Grande pitchers, took the loss, allowing five hits and four runs over 1-1/3 innings.
Clayton Lewis picked up the win in relief for the Rams, allowing one hit and striking out three over two scoreless frames.
Genter, Wisner, Elijah Lewis and Medlock all finished with two hits and three RBI for Bluefield. Nate Cobb, Kevin Torres and Max Aristy also had two hits each for the Rams.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday when it hosts Ohio Christian University in the opener of a three-game River States Conference series at Bob Evans Field.
First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.