MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The Rockford University baseball team (5-14, 1-7 NACC) fell 11-1 and 14-5 on the road Sunday afternoon to the MSOE Raiders (7-15, 4-4 NACC). Rockford got off to a good start and led in both of the games. However, the Regents were hurt by a trio of big innings in both contests, which ultimately determined the outcome. In game one, MSOE scored ten of its eleven runs in a total of three innings, including a five-run seventh. Then in game two, the Raiders tallied all fourteen of their runs in just three innings, including an eight-run fourth.
MSOE 11 Rockford University 1
- Rockford struck first with a single run in the top of the second inning. Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) singled to left to begin the frame, and then one batter later, Corey Saracco (Montgomery, Ill.) crushed an RBI triple, scoring Gunter and giving the Regents a 1-0 advantage. Unfortunately, the Raiders were able to retire the next three batters to limit the damage to just a single run.
- MSOE responded in the bottom of the second with two runs off three hits to take its first lead of the day at 2-1.
- Following a scoreless third, the Raiders added a trio of runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 5-1.
- MSOE would then put the game away with a run in the sixth and five more in the seventh, to secure an 11-1 win in the opener.
MSOE 14 Rockford University 5
- The Regents took a early 3-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Rockford quickly loaded the bases with no one out following singles by Hunter Fiorito (Batavia, Ill.) and Brett Down (Princeville, Ill.) and a Jacob Rillamas (Yuma, Ariz.) hit by pitch. One batter later, Michael Gunter cleared the bases with a three-run double. Unfortunately, Rockford was unable to scratch across any additional runs in the inning, as MSOE retired the next three hitters.
- Rockford extended its lead to 5-0 with two more runs in the top of the third. Brett Down led off the inning with a solo home run, his first of the season, to make it a 4-0 game. Michael Gunter and Bryson Wallace (Rockford, Ill.) each singled later in the inning to give Rockford a runner on second with two outs. Cristian Bermeo (Chicago, Ill.) then came through with a clutch RBI double to left, to make it a 5-0 Regent lead.
- MSOE responded with a pair of unearned runs off no hits in the bottom of the inning to cut the Rockford lead back down to three runs.
- The Regents had a chance to get at least one of the two runs back in the top of the fourth. Hunter Fiorito put himself in scoring position with a one-out double into center field. Rockford then took advantage of an MSOE error later in inning, to put runners on second and third with two outs. However, the Raiders struck out the next batter to keep it a 5-2 game.
- Things then took a turn for the worse in the bottom of the fourth when MSOE scored eight runs to take its first lead of the game at 10-5.
- Rockford did have a chance to cut into the Raider lead in the top of the sixth. Hunter Fiorito ripped a two-out double, his second of the game, to once again put himself in scoring position. Unfortunately, Fiorito was again left stranded as MSOE hung onto its 10-5 advantage.
- The Raiders would then extend their lead to 14-5 in the bottom half of the inning. MSOE scored its four runs off five hits and one Rockford error.
- Rockford never seriously threatened to retake the lead for the remainder of the game, as the Raiders won the nightcap 14-5.
- Corey Saracco finished 2-for-3 with a triple and one run driven in.
- Michael Gunter was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
- Hunter Fiorito went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and a stolen base.
- Michael Gunter was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.
- Brett Down went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored, a stolen base and an RBI.
- Bryson Wallace was also 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- Kerrick Jones (Spring Grove, Ill.) was perfect on the mound in both the seventh and eighth innings. Jones struck out four and did not allow a base runner over his two innings of work.
The RU baseball team returns to the diamond on Wednesday, April 10 at Beloit College. First pitch is set for 6:00 PM.