Rams Take 2 of 3 from Rio Grande in Opening MSC Series
The Rams' bats came alive on Friday, striking for 20 runs on 25 hits as they swept the twinbill with Rio Grande to open MSC play.
February 22, 2013
Following the Rams’ twinbill sweep of Tennessee Temple on Wednesday, Bluefield trekked to Chillicothe, Ohio, where the team earned two wins over the University of Rio Grande to open its Mid-South Conference slate. All three games were held at VA Memorial Stadium.
Bluefield dropped Thursday evening’s game 2-1, then took 10-9 and 10-2 victories over the RedStorm in Friday’s doubleheader. The Rams level their early-season record at 6-6 with the victories and begin their conference schedule with a 2-1 mark. Rio Grande dropped to 8-7 overall as it went 1-2 in its first MSC action of 2013.
Zac Russell-Myers earned a save and a win for his pitching performances Friday, while he also contributed three hits and two RBIs in the three-game series.
Game 1 – Thursday – Rio Grande 2, Bluefield 1
The series opener was a pitching duel, as Sean Williams and Ryan Robertson squared off on the mound. The Rams only managed two hits through the first seven innings of play, while Williams held the RedStorm to just three hits through six innings of no score baseball.
In the seventh, Rio Grande placed two runners on with one out, and then advanced the runners into scoring position thanks to a double steal. Vince Perry served as a pinch-hitter, driving in the RedStorm’s sole runs on the evening.
Bluefield rallied in the eighth, beginning with a Jamie Blackwell single. One-out walks for Ryan Foster and Will Simpson loaded the bases before Robertson was replaced on the mound with reliever Anthony Bond. Russell-Myers drove home one run for the Rams but an ensuing 6-4-3 double play ended Bluefield’s threat.
Bond earned the save by striking out two Rams in the final frame. Robertson (2-1) took the win, while Williams (0-3) recorded the loss despite a solid outing.
Game 2 – Friday – Bluefield 10, Rio Grande 9
Game two proved to be a thriller as the Rams scored six runs in the top half of the ninth inning to steal a 10-9 victory away from the RedStorm. Kyle Long provided the go-ahead power, hitting a grand slam over the right field fence, before Zac Russell-Myers (1) closed the bottom of the frame on the mound to earn the save. Anthony Garza (1-0) was credited with the win, pitching two innings. Bond (2-1) took the loss.
Following single runs from Rio Grande in the second and fourth innings, Tyler Lundgren pulled the Rams even with a two-run homerun in the top of the fifth inning.
The RedStorm followed by plating single runs in the bottoms of the fifth and sixth innings. The Rams responded on both occasions – Jacob Wright scored on an error in the sixth, while Russell-Myers scored on a Christian Burton sac-fly in the seventh – squaring the game headed into the bottom of the seventh.
Rio Grande appeared to have sealed the game with two runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth, earning a 9-4 lead. However, Bluefield had other thoughts.
The Rams’ rally began with a Lundgren walk. Simpson provided a base knock to advance Lundgren, while Russell-Myers followed suit and singled to left to load the bases. Burton drove in the Rams’ first run with the team’s third consecutive single, forcing the RedStorm to bring in reliever Bond.
Bond promptly threw a wild pitch, scoring Simpson and advancing both Russell-Myers and Burton. A walk to Wright loaded the bases once again, setting the stage for Long’s go-ahead grand slam.
Game 3 – Friday – Bluefield 10, Rio Grande 2
In the series finale, the Rams continued their hitting ways from the morning game, roughing up the Rio Grande pitchers for 10 more runs on 12 hits. Bluefield also received assistance from the RedStorm who committed five errors in the afternoon.
Russell-Myers (2-1) went the distance on the mound for Bluefield, striking out six batters in seven inning’s work. At one point, Russell-Myers retired 10-straight batters. Michael Deitsch (1-2) was credited with the loss.
The Rams opened up a 6-0 lead before the RedStorm jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning.
However, the Rams tacked on four more runs in the top half of the seventh to seal the deal and claim their first-ever MSC series.
Chris Rosa led the Rams in the afternoon game, going 3-for-4, driving in one run and scoring three times. Russell-Myers, Burton, Wright and Blackwell each added RBIs as well.