FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Rockford University baseball game dropped a pair of tough games on Friday to the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds (4-2) and the Plymouth State University Panthers (4-4). Rockford's first game of the day against Skidmore was a hard fought pitchers' duel. Rockford starting pitcher Zachary Jones (Rockford, Ill.) threw the first complete game of his collegiate career, allowing just one run on five hits and striking out a career-high 11 batters. Unfortunately, the Regents were shutout and fell 1-0 to the Thoroughbreds. Game two did not go well for Rockford, as the Regents fell 10-1 to Plymouth State.
Skidmore College 1 Rockford University 0
- Rockford University starting pitcher Zachary Jones was phenomenal in his second appearance of the season. The junior went all nine innings for the Regents and allowed just one run off a solo home run in the second inning. After the home run, Jones was nearly unhittable. The right-hander went on to retire 13 straight batters from the second through the sixth inning, and struck out at least one batter in seven of the nine innings.
- Despite being held scoreless though, the RU offense had multiple scoring opportunities.
- In the bottom of the first inning, Hunter Fiorito (Batavia, Ill.) and Jacob Rillamas (Yuma, Ariz.) began the game with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Rockford was able to move the runners over to second and third with just one out. Unfortunately, Skidmore retired the next two batters to keep the Regents scoreless.
- Rockford once again had a runner in scoring position in the second inning, this time with two outs. Bryson Wallace (Rockford, Ill.) and Iszak Mestas (Burbank, Ill.) each tallied singles to put runners on first and second. However, the Thoroughbreds were able to wiggle out of the jam and keep Rockford off the scoreboard.
- Similar situations played out in the fifth through the seventh innings. The Regents had a runner on second in all three innings, but were unable to come up with a two-out hit each time. Hunter Fiorito was directly involved in two of the three situations. Fiorito doubled in the fifth, and then reached base on an error in the seventh before stealing second base. Unfortunately, he was stranded both times as Rockford fell 1-0 in the opener.
Plymouth State University 10 Rockford University 1
- Plymouth State jumped out to a quick 4-0 in the second game of the day. The Panthers struck for four runs off three hits in the bottom of the first.
- The Panthers would extend their lead to 5-0 after three innings with a solo run in the third.
- Rockford then answered with a run of its own in the top of the fourth.
- Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) led off the inning by crushing his first collegiate home run to cut the Panther lead to 5-1.
- Unfortunately, the Panthers responded with five runs over the next four innings en route to a 10-1 win.
- Zachary Jones threw Rockford's first complete game of the season. Jones went all nine innings, allowing just one run off five hits, while striking out a career-high 11 batters.
- Hunter Fiorito went 2-for-4 with a double.
- Jacob Rillamas was 2-for-4 at the plate.
- Bryson Wallace was also 2-for-4.
Plymouth State University
- Hunter Fiorito went 3-for-4 at the plate.
- Iszak Mestas was 2-for-4.
- Jake Schmollinger (Peru, Ill.) pitched very well in relief for the Regents. Schmollinger went 2.1 innings, allowing just one unearned run off three hits. He also struck out one and picked off a pair of runners.
The RU baseball team concludes its spring trip on Saturday, March 16 against Pitt.-Bradford. First pitch is set for 9 AM EDT.