LOVES PARK, Ill.- The Rockford University baseball team returned to action today to take on Loras College in their home opener at Rivets Stadium. Rockford was aiming to knock off another strong non-conference opponent. The Regents outplayed the Duhawks earning their seventh victory of the season by the final of 6-3.
Rockford started the scoring in the second inning when Mitchell Gorsuch (Cherry Valley, Ill.) roped a double into the right-center field gap to put a runner in scoring position with two outs. Dalvin Ramos (Chicago, Ill.) then followed him up with an RBI single up the middle to plate Gorsuch. Rockford took the lead 1-0 into the third inning. Unfortunately, Loras scored the next three runs to give themselves a 3-1 lead heading to the home half of the fifth inning.
The Regents pounced on their next scoring opportunity in the fifth when Nathan Burris (Oglesby, Ill.) hit an RBI single into right field to plate Gorsuch from third base. On the throw both Ramos and Burris were able to advance to second and third with nobody out. Next, Bryce Hinkelman (Ottawa, Ill.) destroyed a pitch into the left-center gap for a two-run double bringing in both Ramos and Burris. A few batters later, pinch hitter Jose Miranda (Yuma, Ariz.) smoked a two-run single into left-center field to drive in Hinkelman and Cole Logemann (Lena, Ill.). Ultimately, the five-run fifth inning was enough to stave off Loras as the Rockford pitching staff shut them down through the final four innings. The Regents won by the final of 6-3 to improve to 7-7 on the season.
Starting on the mound for Rockford was sophomore Joseph Valdez (Tucson, Ariz.). Valdez threw a solid quality start lasting 6 innings allowing 3 runs, all earned, on 5 hits while striking out 4. He moved to 2-1 on the season with the strong effort. Following Valdez was Spencer Lentz (Stillman Valley, Ill.) who threw a scoreless inning of relief. Brady Frank (Freeport, Ill.) came in to hammer down the save throwing 2 innings allowing 0 runs while striking out 3. Frank earned his second save of the season with the terrific performance.
Leading the Regents offensively were Mitchell Gorsuch who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Dalvin Ramos went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Jose Miranda and Bryce Hinkelman each had clutch two-run hits. Nathan Burris also added a hit, an RBI and a run scored.
The RU baseball team returns to action Saturday, April 1 to take on Edgewood College in their Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference opener in Madison, Wis. with a scheduled start time of 12 p.m.