Updated Sun, Apr 27, 2014 3:46 pm
Rio Grande (21-29, 6-21) was swept this weekend at Cumberland University (35-17, 17-9) to end its play in the Mid-South Conference and eliminate the RedStorm from postseason play.
David Steele (4-4) battled muscle spasms early and allowed four earned runs in just two innings on Friday afternoon. Kyle Miller didn’t fare any better in his relief appearance. He allowed five earned runs on ten hits in 3 1/3 innings. After four innings, the Cumberland Bulldogs led 8-0.
Cumberland outhit Rio Grande 20-5. Four Bulldog hitters had two or more RBI on the afternoon. Shortstop Josciel Veras led the Bulldogs with three runs driven in as Cumberland won, 11-3.
Anthony Gomez (5-2) threw seven innings and allowed just one earned run to get the win. He only allowed four hit while striking out nine RedStorm batters.
Veras came up big again for the Bulldogs in Saturday’s first game. He drove in Ricky Coleman in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Bulldogs a walk-off, 7-6 victory.
After Rio Grande’s Carlos Flores tied up the game with a three-run homerun in the top of the ninth, Landon Hutchinson – who was brought in to pitch in the eighth – returned to the mound for Rio Grande.
Hutchinson (0-2) walked Coleman to begin the inning and failed to get an out before the base runner came around to score.
“At least we battled back today,” Rio Grande manager Brad Warnimont said. “We got some timely hits, but we weren’t able to come out on top.”
Jake Collier (6-3) threw a complete game for Cumberland. He allowed nine hits and six runs, but only three of the runs were earned.
Cumberland first baseman Brady North hit two homeruns and had four RBI, but Veras was once again the hero for the Bulldogs.
A double by RedStorm outfielder Marcus Makuch drove in Daulton Kenyon and tied the game at seven in the top of the seventh.
In his third inning of relief, Anthony Knittel (3-4) retired Cumberland’s first batter of the inning, but then walked North. Jarrett Plunkett replaced North as a pinch-runner and advanced to second when Knittel threw a wild pitch. Veras stepped up at the plate and drove in Plunkett for the winning run on a single to centerfield.
Clint Meadows (2-1) earned the win for the Bulldogs, despite allowing Rio Grande to tie the game in the top of the seventh.