LISLE, Ill. - The Rockford University baseball team (5-16, 1-9 NACC) fell 2-1 and 11-2 on the road Saturday afternoon to the Benedictine University Eagles (14-9, 6-3 NACC). Game one featured an outstanding pitchers' duel, as the Regents and Eagles allowed just one run each over the first nine innings of play. Christian Pearcy (Tucson, Ariz.) was brilliant on the mound for the Regents in the opener. The right-hander surrendered one run over his eight innings of work. However, the Eagles won the game 2-1 with a walk-off double in the bottom of the tenth. Game two was decided by a pair of big innings for the Eagles. Benedictine used a four-run second and a six-run eighth en route to the 11-2 victory.
Benedictine University 2 Rockford University 1 (10 Innings)
- Rockford had chances to score in each of the first two innings before finally breaking through with a run in the third.
- Hunter Fiorito (Batavia, Ill.) nearly single-handedly manufactured a run by himself in the top of the first inning. Fiorito led off the game with a single, stole second, and then stole third, to put himself 90 feet away with only one out. Unfortunately, the Eagles struck out the next two batters to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
- The second inning had a similar feel as the Regents again had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs. Corey Saracco (Montgomery, Ill.) led off the inning with a single and then stole second. Two batters later, Christian Garcia (Maricopa, Ariz.) singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Unfortunately, the Eagles were again able to wiggle out of the jam without allowing a run.
- The Regents were finally able to break through with a single run off three hits in the top of the third inning. Hunter Fiorito and Brett Down (Princeville, Ill.) each singled in the inning to put runners on first and second with one out. Down and Fiorito would then steal second and third, with Fiorito subsequently scoring on a throwing error to give Rockford a 1-0 lead. However, the Regents were unable to score any additional runs in the inning.
- Rockford's one run seemed as though it might be enough because of the outstanding pitching performance from Christian Pearcy. Pearcy had the Eagles off balance his entire start, holding Benedictine scoreless through seven innings. The junior right-hander retired 13-of-14 batters after the bottom of the second, including seven straight heading into the eighth inning.
- Unfortunately, the Eagles would tie the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
- Both teams then went down quietly in the ninth, as the Regents and Eagles headed for extra innings.
- Benedictine would take advantage of a Rockford error to start the tenth, before recording a walk-off double and score an unearned run for the 2-1 victory.
Benedictine University 11 Rockford University 2
- Game two got off to a rough start for the Regents, as Benedictine scored five runs in the first three innings. The Eagles took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs off four hits and one Rockford error. Benedictine then made a 5-0 game with a solo home run in the third.
- The Regents were able to cut into the Eagle lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. Iszak Mestas (Burbank, Ill.) scored Rockford's first run of the game on a wild pitch. Two batter's later, Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) ripped an RBI single to make it a 5-2 game.
- The score remained 5-2 until the bottom of the eighth when Benedictine scored six runs to propel themselves to an 11-2 win.
- Christian Pearcy threw a season-high eight innings on the mound for the Regents. Pearcy had the Eagle hitters off balance all game long, allowing just one run off five hits while striking out three.
- Hunter Fiorito was 2-for-5 with three stolen bases and a run scored.
- Corey Saracco finished 2-for-4 with two stolen bases.
- Michael Gunter finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
- Troy Tucci (Wood Dale, Ill.) went 1-for-3.
- Doug Murphey (Fox Lake, Ill.) came in and threw four innings in relief. Murphey allowed just one run off one hit and struck out one.
The Rockford University baseball team returns to action on Monday, April 15 at home against Aurora University. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon at Rivets Stadium.