WATERTOWN, Wis. - The Regents hit the road on Monday to face the Maranatha Baptist Bible College Crusaders knowing with sweep the team would move into sole possession of first place in the Northern Athletics Conference. Rockford would score 30 runs in the two games combined sweeping the Crusaders and improving its record to 18-14 this season with a 13-3 NAC record. The two wins improve the Regents to 12-0 in the program’s history against Maranatha.
The Regents would never trail in either of the scoring runs early in both games. Matt Grimes (O’Fallon, Mo./Fort Zumwalt West) would get the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning smashing his first home run of the season and giving his team a 1-0 lead. After a walk and a single, Ryan Lesner (Algonquin, Ill./Harry D. Jacobs) would drive in the second run of the game on an RBI single. Rockford would add another run later in the inning courtesy of a wild pitch. The Regents would make it a 6-0 lead scoring 3 more in the bottom of the second inning off a passed ball, a Kevin Miller (Elk Grove, Ill./Elk Grove) sacrifice fly and a Daryn Streed (Belvidere, Ill./North) RBI single. The Crusaders made the game interesting scoring 2 runs in both the bottom of the second and third innings making it a 6-4 ballgame. Rockford would answer back and essentially put the game away with a seven run fourth inning. The first three batters of the inning would reach base allowing Streed to single in two more runs. Lesner followed up Streed’s single with an RBI single of his own to plate the third run of the inning. Catcher Terry Wiltshire (Elizabeth, Ill./River Ridge) gave his team an 11-4 lead with his first double of the year scoring two more runs. Rockford would get its final two runs in the inning on a fielder’s choice and another sacrifice fly. The team would add 2 more runs in the fifth and sixth innings to win game one 17-7.
Junior pitcher Zac Wolf (LaSalle, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) picked up his second win of the season with his start in game one. Wolf threw four innings and struck out 4 batters. Sophomore Corey Seipts (Rockton, Ill./Hononegah) came out of the bullpen to throw the final three innings of the game and picked up his second save this year. Seipts tossed three shutout innings allowing just 2 hits and striking out 2 batters.
Game two would be much of the same for Rockford as the team would score 13 more runs. It would be a 4-run third inning that would give the Regents the early advantage in the game. Curt Daughenbaugh (Dakota, Ill./Dakota) made it 2-0 and recorded his fifteenth RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to center field. Matt Szytz (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) drew a bases loaded walk to get his third RBI this year and give Rockford a 4-0 lead. The Regents would put the game away in the top of the fifth inning by scoring three more runs to take a 7-0 advantage. Rockford would draw bases loaded walks by Kevin Miller and Kyle LaMore (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley) to score the first two runs of the inning. Ryan Lesner would tack on the Regents final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly giving him 22 runs batted in this year. The team would add 6 more runs over the next three innings to win game two 13-4 and take sole possession of first place in the Northern Athletics Conference.
Sophomore pitcher Kaleb Rich (Washington, Iowa/Washington) won his third straight decision on Monday improving his record to 3-4 this year. Rich gave up just one run over his five innings of work and struck out a career-high eight batters
The baseball team will play its next game on Saturday, April 28th at home against Wisconsin Lutheran College. It will be a very special day on Saturday as the baseball team will be trying to raise money to help fight pancreatic cancer. Events will be going on all day long including: a silent auction, raffles, play catch with a Regent, a diamond dash, and post game fireworks. First pitch of the doubleheader will be at 3:00 p.m. at RiverHawks Stadium.