MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The Rockford University baseball team concluded its 2017 season on Saturday with a doubleheader at the MSOE Raiders. The Regents entered today knowing they would need to win both games and get some help in order to earn a berth in next week's NACC Tournament. Unfortunately things did work out as Rockford lost both games by final scores of 12-11 and 17-1.
The opening game featured 23 combined runs as both teams showed a proclivity for the big inning. There were a total of six times during the game where someone scored at least two runs in an inning, including a pair of four-run innings by the Raiders and a five-run inning by Rockford.
The Regents struck first in the top of the first inning with a single run off two hits. Cole Logemann (Lena, Ill.) and Bryce Hinkelman (Ottawa, Ill.) began the day with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with just one out. The Regents would then take advantage of an MSOE error to plate Logemann and take their first lead of the day. Unfortunately the lead was short lived as the Raiders responded with the first of their two four-run innings in the bottom half of the frame to grab a 4-1 advantage. Rockford would cut into the lead in the top of the second as senior Britton Seivert (Rockford, Ill.) crushed his first collegiate home run to make it a 4-2 game. Unfortunately the MSOE offense responded with four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to jump out to a commanding 8-2 lead.
With its playoff lives hanging in the balance, Rockford continued to fight and claw as the Regents scored seven straight runs to retake the lead at 9-8. Five of the seven runs came in the fifth as Rockford pounded out four hits and took advantage of two MSOE errors. Britton Seivert led off the inning with double to put himself in scoring position with no one out. Following a fielder's choice and an error, which give the Regents runners on the corners with no one out, Tyler Johnson (Chicago, Ill.) drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single to left. A few batters later, Bryce Hinkelman doubled to left center, driving in two runs and pulling his team back within three. Rockford's final two runs in the fifth came when Mitchell Gorsuch (Cherry Valley, Ill.) smashed his first home run of the season to make it a one-run game. Rockford then scored two more runs in the sixth to retake the lead. Patrick O'Malley (Elk Grove, Ill.), Britton Seivert and Dalvin Ramos (Chicago, Ill.) began the inning with back-to-back-to-back hits with Ramos driving in O'Malley to tie the game. One batter later, Rockford took a 9-8 lead as Tyler Johnson drove in Seivert with an RBI groundout. Unfortunately it was short lived, as the Raiders tied the game with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth when the Raiders scored a trio of runs to take a 12-9 lead heading into the ninth. The resilient Regents refused to go down without a fight as they were able to get the tying run on base and the go-ahead run to the plate. Cole Logemann began the inning with solo shot to center field to bring the Regents back within two at 12-10. One batter later, Bryce Hinkelman doubled as Rockford now had the tying run at the plate. Following a pitching change and two quick outs, Austin Smith (Peru, Ill.) singled to left to drive in Hinkelman and put the tying run on base. Unfortunately it was not meant to be as MSOE retired the next batter to end the game and secure a 12-11 win.
The Regents had a trio of players record at least three hits in the game. Britton Seivert had perhaps the best performance out of anyone going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. Cole Logemann also went 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Bryce Hinkelman was the other Regent to record a multi-hit performance going 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs.
After the heartbreaking loss in game one, the Regents really struggled to build any sort of momentum in game two. MSOE scored the first eight runs of game to leap out to a commanding 8-0 lead. Rockford would however score a single run in the top of the fourth to avoid being shut out. Bryce Hinkelman began the inning with a leadoff single, and was then driven in three batters later with an RBI single off the bat of Michael Tosado (Chicago, Ill.). Unfortunately MSOE answered right back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning en route to a 17-1 win.