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Baseball Splits NAC Opener with Dominican

Sunday, April 01, 2012  
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
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SCHAUMBERG, Ill. – The Regents’ baseball team kicked off conference play on Saturday when the team hit the road to play a doubleheader against the Dominican University Stars.  The team was hoping to continue to build on the momentum that it had built last weekend when it took three of four from Concordia Moorhead at the Metrodome in Minneapolis Minn.

Game one got off to a slow start for Rockford as the Stars scored two first inning runs to take 2-0 lead.  The Regents were unable to get anything going in the first three innings offensively, but were able to break the game open with back-to-back big innings in the 4th and 5th.  After the lead off hitter reached on an error, Rockford first baseman Ryan Lesner (Algonquin, Ill./Harry D. Jacobs) drove in the team’s first run of the game with an RBI single to right field.  Following another single and a walk loaded the bases, shortstop Jimmy Dercks (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) hit a monstrous 3-run double to left field to give the Regents a 4-2 lead.  An inning later, Rockford would strike for 8 more runs in the 5th.  Early in the 5th the Regents took advantage of error, 4 walks and a hit batsman to score the first 3 runs of the inning.  With the bases still loaded, Kipton Bucey (Byron, Ill./Stillman Valley) laced an RBI single into right field to stretch the lead to 8-2.  Senior Kevin Miller (Elk Grove, Ill./Elk Grove) followed Bucey’s lead singling in another run on a ground ball to the shortstop.  Right fielder Daryn Streed (Belvidere, Ill./North) would deliver the largest blow of the inning doubling down the right field line to plate two more runs making it an 11-2 Regents lead.  Senior pitcher Jake Nicholson (Stillman Valley, Ill./Stillman Valley) would cap of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in the final run.  Rockford would score one last run in the 7th inning when Ryne Billesbach (Belvidere, Ill./North) hit an RBI single to center field.  After surrendering 2 runs in the first inning, pitcher Jake Nicholson gave up 0 runs and only 4 hits over his final 6 innings of work to pick up his second win of the season in the 13-2 victory.  

After a fairly quick game one, game would turn into a 13 inning offensive slugfest that would take nearly 5 hours to complete.  Rockford would strike for 3 runs in the first inning capitalizing on 2 costly Dominican errors.  Jake Nicholson would record the first RBI in the game when he singled to center field to score Kipton Bucey.  Catcher Jake Gorsuch (Cherry Valley, Ill./Jefferson) would record the other RBI in the inning when he drew a bases loaded walk to put Rockford up 3-0.  Dominican would take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second scoring all 4 runs with 2 outs in the inning.  Rockford would retake the lead one inning later when Gorsuch doubled in the first run of the inning followed by a Curt Daughenbaugh (Dakota, Ill./Dakota) RBI single.  The two teams continued to go back and forth trading runs with Dominican taking a 9-8 lead into the 8th inning.  After 2 walks and a bunt single to start the inning, left fielder Kipton Bucey tied the game on a ground ball fielder’s choice to the second baseman.  Kevin Miller would give the Regents a 10-9 lead on a squeeze bunt scoring Daughenbaugh.  With Rockford still clutching to a one run lead, Jake Nicholson would lead off the 9th inning with a single and score a much needed insurance run later in the inning on a passed ball making it an 11-9 ballgame.  The Stars would not go into the night quietly as they would score 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extra innings.  After the two teams matched each others run outputs in the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings, the Stars would score the winning run in the bottom of the 13th on 3 singles.  The 14-13 loss dropped Rockford to 4-11 on the year and 1-1 in NAC play.

Despite all the runs, Rockford did get some solid pitching on the day.  Senior Jake Nicholson continues to impress.  Nicholson threw his second straight complete game to improve to 2-1 on the season.  The senior allowed 2 runs, only 1 earned run, while striking out seven and walking just 1 batter.  Junior pitcher Justin Moore (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) threw 5 solid innings in relief during game two.  Moore was let down a little by his defense as he gave up 5 runs but only 1 of the runs was earned.  The junior struck out 4 batters to improve his strikeout total to 20 for the season on just 21.1 innings of work.

The Regents offense exploded to score 26 runs in the doubleheader against Dominican.  In addition to having a great outing on the mound in game one, senior Jake Nicholson was also excellent at the plate.  Nicholson was 5-8 on the day with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored.  The senior bumped his average up to .383 with a team-high .574 slugging percent and 15 runs batted in.  Senior shortstop Jimmy Dercks was 4-10 at the plate with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.  All four of his runs batted in came in game one with three of them coming on bases clearing double in the fourth inning.  Kipton Bucey raised his team-high .412 batting average with 5-10 day at the plate.  Bucey also scored 3 runs bring his season total to 13 in addition to driving in 2 runs during the doubleheader.   Finally, sophomore catcher Jake Gorsuch had a breakout game at the plate in game two.  The sophomore was 2-5 batting with a double and clutch triple in the 11th inning.  Gorsuch also scored 3 runs, had 3 RBI and drew 3 walks during the game.

The baseball team will return to the diamond on Sunday, April 1 at home against rival Concordia University Chicago.  First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. at RiverHawks Stadium.

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