LOVES PARK, Ill. - The Rockford University baseball team (5-12, 1-5 NACC) split with the Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks (7-11, 3-3 NACC) on Saturday afternoon. It would be a tale of two games and a high scoring affair for each team. Rockford cruised to a 10-3 win in game one where Zack Jones (Rockford, Ill.) played incredible throwing his first complete game on the season and just his second on his career. Jones struck out a career-high twelve batters while allowing zero earned runs. Unfortunately, the roles would flip in game two as Illinois Tech would win by a final of 9-3.
Game 1: Rockford 10 Illinois Tech 3
- Rockford struck first bringing three runs home in the bottom of the second to take the early lead over the Scarlet Hawks.
- With one out Kyle Waugh (Waseca, Minn.) cranked a double to right center. Christian Garcia (Maricopa, Ariz.) did well at the next at bat singling to left and bringing Waugh home.
- Troy Tucci (Wood Dale, Ill.) followed with a double to left center to give Rockford runners on second and third with one out.
- An Iszak Mestas (Burbank, Ill.) single and Hunter Fiorito (Batavia, Ill.) sac fly to center would bring in the final two runs of the inning.
- It was Waugh again who got things started in the fourth with a single to center. A Garcia single and an error would give RU runners on second and third. A wild pitch by Illinois Tech allowed Garcia to move to third and for Waugh to race home.
- One batter later Iszak Mestas would hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring Garcia home and give the Regents a 5-0 lead.
- Rockford carried that momentum into the fifth as they tacked on another run.
- With one out Brett Down (Princeville, Ill.) drew a walk before Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) would single through the left side.
- A fielder's choice would give RU runners on the corners with two outs. Fortunately a fielding error on the next at bat would allow Down to reach home.
- Rockford was not done yet as the Regents added two more runs in the sixth.
- Troy Tucci started off with a single before Mestas cracked a double down the left field line.
- A sac fly by Hunter Fiorito and Jacob Rillamas (Yuma, Ariz.) would give the Regents an 8-0 lead heading into the seventh.
- Zack Jones was unconscious on the mound for Rockford as he had not given up a hit all day. Unfortunately that streak would end in the top of the seventh as the Scarlet Hawks were able to score three unearned runs to make it an 8-3 game.
- Rockford did well to recover as Michael Gunter smashed a homerun in the seventh.
- The Regents added one more for good measure in the eighth as Fiorito singled to left with one out. Fiorito proceeded to take second on a wild pitch.
- Rillamas would then hit a single to left that sent Fiorito flying around the bases to give the Regents a 10-3 lead.
- Illinois Tech could not mount a comeback as Rockford went on to win game one by a final score of 10-3.
Game 2: Illinois Tech 9 Rockford 3
- Illinois Tech was able to come out to the early lead this time in game two, as the Scarlet Hawks scored once in the first before adding one more in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead.
- The Scarlet Hawks were not done yet as they went off for five runs in the sixth to take a commanding 7-0 lead over the Regents.
- Rockford would not go away as the Regents managed to get three runs back in the bottom of the frame.
- With one out Hunter Fiorito got things started with a single to center. Jacob Rillamas would knock a single to give Down runners on first and second with just one out.
- Brett Down laced a double down the left field line to score Fiorito and put runners on second and third.
- One batter later Corey Saracco (Montgomery, Ill.) would load the bases after getting hit by the pitch.
- With two outs Kyle Waugh hit a single to bring two runners home and make it a 7-3 game.
- Unfortunately Illinois Tech added two more runs in the top of the eighth to increase the lead to 9-3.
- Rockford would not be able to get any more runs back as the Regents fell to the Scarlet Hawks in game two by a final of 9-3.
- Zack Jones was once again incredible on the mound throwing his first complete game of the season and gave up only three hits. Jones struck out a career-high 12 batters on the day and all 3 runs were unearned.
- Michael Gunter went 2-for-5 with a homerun.
- Troy Tucci and Kyle Waugh each finished 2-for-4 including a double, while adding 2 runs scored.
- Iszak Mestas went 2-for-3 with a double, while tacking on 2 RBIs and a run scored.
- Christian Garcia went 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI.
- Jacob Rillamas finished 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.
- Michael Gunter and Kyle Waugh each finished 2-for-4. Waugh added 2 RBIs.
- Hunter Fiorito, Jacob Rillamas and Brett Down each tallied a hit and a run scored. Down also logged a double and an RBI.
The Rockford University baseball team returns to action on Sunday, March 7 when it travels to take on MSOE. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon.