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Regents Walk Off WIth Win

Friday, April 01, 2011  
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
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LOVES PARK, Ill. – It had been 17 days since the Rockford College baseball team felt the way it did on Thursday evening.  The Regents had lost four straight games, their last victory coming during their spring break trip to Arizona.  But Rockford found its winning vibe during Thursday evening’s home opener against Robert Morris University. 

Rockford jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after plating runs in the second and third innings.  The Eagles tied the score at gwo with runs of their own in the fourth and fifth innings.  The middle innings have proved to be the downfall for the Regents in many of their early season losses, and Thursday was no different.  Robert Morris took a commanding 7-2 lead in the sixth inning, after scoring five times in the frame.  A solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning by junior Jake Nicholson (Stillman Valley, Ill./ Rock Valley CC) run the deficit to 7-3 after the seventh. 

In the eighth inning, the Regents bats came alive, scoring five earned runs on four hits.  Rockford took advantage of Robert Morris’ defensive miscues as well, including a hit batter, wild pitch and throwing error.  Heading into the ninth inning, Rockford now lead 8-7.  But the Eagles weren’t done quite yet. A solo home run in the top of the ninth inning tied the game at eight. The Regents could must a run in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. 

After shutting down the Eagles in the 10th, Rockford again took advantage of the opportunities Robert Morris gave them.  Sophomore Kipton Bucey (Byron, Ill./ Stillman Valley) was hit by a pitch.  Freshman Matt Szytz (Huntley, Ill./ Huntley) reached on an attempted sacrifice bunt to the pitcher that led to a throwing error, allowing Bucey to reach second base.  A wild pitch allowed Bucey and Szytz to advance to second and third with just one out.  An intentional walk to junior Ryne Billesbach (Belvidere, Ill./ Central) loaded the bases, bring junior Jimmy Dercks (Kaukauna, Wis./ Kaukauna) to the plate.  All Dercks had to do was simply hit the ball to the outfield and he delivered.  Dercks’ single to right centerfield scored Bucey with the game’s winning run.

Rockford recorded 11 hits on the game, including two each by Billesbach, Bucey, junior Ryan Lesner (Algonquin, Ill./ Elgin CC) and senior Jordan Shaver (Davis Junction, Ill./ Rock Valley CC). In addition to the seventh inning home run, Nicholson improved to 2-0, pitching the final 1.2 innings of no-hit ball.  Starter Ben Riffle (Brooklyn, Wis./ Brooklyn) went 4.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits.  Senior Brad Horton (Milledgeville, Ill./ Milledgeville) and freshman Eric Miller (Cudahy, Wis./ Cudahy) combined for 2.1 innings of no-hit relief pitching.

The Regents will open Northern Athletics Conference play on Saturday when they welcome the Concordia University Wisconsin Falcons to Road Ranger Stadium.  The doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m.

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