Baseball Moves into First Place with Sweep of MSOE
Monday, April 16, 2012
Posted by: Brian Vanden Acker
LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford College baseball team capped off a very impressive week with a sweep over the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders this past Sunday. The baseball team went 6-1 on the week and moved into first place in the Northern Athletics Conference upon the completion of Sunday evening’s game. After a difficult start to the 2012 season the team continues to play as good of baseball as any team has over the past few weeks compiling a 13-4 record and outscoring its opponents 167-102 during those 17 games.
The Regents would win the opener on Sunday by scoring 20 runs on a season-high 26 hits. Rockford would score at least one run in every inning in game one except the seventh inning. Senior leadoff hitter Jimmy Dercks (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) would lead off the game driving a double down the left field line. Two batters later, senior Kevin Miller (Elk Grove, Ill./Elk Grove) would drive in Rockford’s first run of the game on an RBI double to center field. The next batter Daryn Streed (Belvidere, Ill./North) would join the doubles parade with an RBI double of his own giving Rockford a 2-1 lead. After a walk senior second baseman Ryne Billesbach (Belvidere, Ill./North) would make it a 3-1 lead with a RBI single. The Regents would tack on one more run in the inning off an MSOE error. The bottom of the second inning would start out exactly the same way as the first did with Dercks leading off the inning with a double. He would score one batter later when Kipton Bucey (Bryon, Ill./Stillman Valley) laced an RBI single into left center. Bucey would then steal second and score off a Streed RBI single to make it a 6-2 lead. The Raiders would not go down easily as they continued to fight and eventually would tie the game at 7-7 in the top of the fourth inning. However the Regent offense would answer back and put the game away in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings by scoring a total of 8 more runs. The fifth inning would start with 3 consecutive singles courtesy of center fielder Curt Daughenbaugh (Dakota, Ill./Dakota), catcher Terry Wiltshire (Elizabeth, Ill./River Ridge), and Jimmy Dercks. After an RBI groundout and a sacrifice fly, Streed would single in the final run of the inning. The sixth inning would have a similar feel as Rockford would get 4 straight singles to start the inning. Bucey would eventually get the big hit of the inning with a 2-run double. Rockford would score 4 runs in the eighth inning to end the game one inning early. Pinch hitter Ryan Woodard (Lily Lake, Ill./Burlington) would get the inning started with a single up the middle. After a Dercks walk, Kevin Miller and Matt Grimes (O’Fallon, Mo./Fort Zumwalt West) would double in the first three runs of the inning for Rockford. Junior infielder Johnny Ramos (Pueblo West, Col./Centennial) would end the game with a walk-off single giving Rockford a 20-10 win in game one.
Kaleb Rich (Washingon, Iowa/Washington) would pick up his second of the year as he threw 5 innings and struck out 3 batters. Sean Gillette (Sterling, Ill./Sterling) tossed a perfect sixth inning in relief allowing no hits and striking out 1 batter. Sophomore Eric Miller (Cudahy, Wis./Cudahy) had his best relief appearance of the year late in the game. Miller turned in an excellent performance going 1.1 innings allowing just one hit while striking out 2 batters.
After game one’s hit parade, game two was a much more traditional and lower scoring game. Rockford struck first scoring two runs in the bottom of the second. Jake Nicholson (Stillman Valley, Ill./Stillman Valley) led the inning off with a walk and would later score on a fielder’s choice groundout by Jake Gorsuch (Cherry Valley, Ill./Jefferson). First baseman Ryan Lesner (Algonquin, Ill./Harry D. Jacobs) would score the other run in the inning on a wild pitch. MSOE would hit the Regents right back scoring 3 in the top of the third inning to take a 3-2 lead. However, the Raiders would not lead for very long as Rockford would score two more in the bottom of the third inning. After two walks and a Kevin Miller single loaded the bases, Lesner would drive in both runs in the inning with a 2-run single giving the Regents a 4-3 advantage. The Raiders would tie the game in the top of the fourth inning and that’s how it would remain until the bottom of the seventh. It was Gorsuch who would get himself into scoring position when he led off the inning with a double. He would later score the go-ahead run on an MSOE error giving Rockford a 5-4 lead. The Regents would add an insurance run later in the inning, giving themselves a 2-run lead heading into the eighth. The extra run would not be needed as the Rockford bullpen would seal the 6-4 win. Rockford is now 10-0 against MSOE since joining the NAC and 17-3 overall against the Raiders. The win moves the baseball team into first place in the NAC with a 9-3 conference record this season.
Junior pitcher Justin Moore (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) was phenomenal on the mound in game two. Moore picked up his second win of the season throwing 4 excellent innings in relief out the bullpen. The junior gave up just two hits, struck out 2 MSOE hitters and retired the final four batters of the game to lock up the victory.
There were quite a few memorable performances offensively for Rockford on Sunday. Dercks continued to have one of the best weeks of his career going 5-9 with 5 runs scored, 2 RBI and 3 doubles. Bucey was 3-7 with a double, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored. Kevin Miller went 4-7 at the plate with 5 RBI, 3 runs scored and 2 doubles. Streed went 3-6 with a double, 3 RBI and scored 2 runs. Billesbach hit his second home run in two days and was 3-8 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.
The baseball team will return to the diamond for a non-conference game against North Park University on Tuesday, April 17th. The game will take place at 6:00 p.m. at RiverHawks Stadium.