RIO GRANDE, Ohio – The University of Pikeville baseball team ran into a dominant pitching performance in game one to lose 6-2 at Rio Grande (Ohio), but found its bats in the rubber game to outlast the RedStorm 7-5 and capture their second straight Mid-South Conference series on Saturday at Bob Evans Field.
There simply wasn’t a lot of offense for UPIKE (17-10, 5-4 MSC) in game one as David Steele went to work on the mound. He allowed just two hits, although one was a two-run homer by first baseman Nicolas Gonzales in the first inning, with six strikeouts in a complete-game seven innings.
But in game two, the Bears got to turn the tables to an extent with Corey Gilligan scattering six hits for five runs with six strikeouts as his offense helped him to his third win of the season with one loss.
After struggling at the plate in the opener, the Bears stuck five runs in six innings on RedStorm starter Kyle Miller (1-3) and finished the game with eight hits total. Catcher Cody Chagnon, Gonzales and third baseman Erik Manning all went 2-for-4 at the dish in the win, while Chagnon and Gonzales both drove in a pair of runs.
Pikeville’s Bryce Carden (2-1) took the loss in game one after allowing six runs on six hits with five walks in 4-2/3 innings. Steele improved to 3-2 on the season with his effort on the mound.
All of the momentum was with the Bears in the first inning of game one after centerfielder Brad Andrews drew a walk, stole second and was sacrificed to third. After all that work on the base paths Gonzales got him home the easy way with a blast to right field.
After Rio Grande (10-13, 3-6 MSC) tied it up at 2-2 after the first inning, UPIKE wouldn’t score again as the RedStorm scored the winning run the very next inning to hold on for the win.
Game two played out much differently, but had a similar start as Manning and Chagnon hit RBI singles in the first inning to make it a 2-2 game after the first once again. This time the Bears didn’t slow down as they put the go-ahead run on the board in the third and scored four more in the fourth to lead 7-2.
Rio Grande didn’t go away quietly, scoring a run in the fifth inning on a single from centerfielder Marcus Makuch and two more in the seventh on a two-run single by Makuch before Gilligan shut them down with second baseman Grant Tamane flying out to center to end it.
Rio Grande (Ohio) 6, UPIKE 2
Nicolas Gonzales: 1-4, HR, 2 RBIs
Brad Andrews: 0-3, BB, R, SB
Chaz Contreras: 1-3
UPIKE 7, Rio Grande (Ohio) 5
Cody Chagnon: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs
Nicolas Gonzales: 2-4, 2 RBIs, R
Erik Manning: 2-4, RBI, SB, R
Brad Andrews: 0-1, 3 BB, SB, 2 R
Corey Gilligan: 7 IP, 6 H, 6 Ks, 2 BB, 5 R