The Spring Hill College baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader with the University of Rio Grande RedStorm at historic Stan Galle Field on Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 victory in the opener and a 7-5 loss in the nightcap.
In the first game, the Badgers used a three-run outburst in the 3rd inning to take a 3-1 lead and then held on for the 3-2 victory over Rio Grande (3-1) behind the relief pitching of sophomore Keller Douglas who recorded his first save of the year.
Sophomore catcher Ryan Stevens provided the big blow in the Badger's big 3rd frame with a two-RBI double to the left field wall with two outs that broke open a 1-1 tie.
Senior SHC starter Nick Schmiemeier (1-0) earned the win in five innings and allowed just three hits with three walks and four strikeouts while Douglas had the save in two innings with just one hit allowed, no walks and two strikeouts including the game-ender with runners at 1st and 2nd bases. David Steele (0-1) went the distance for Rio with six hits, no walks and a strikeout.
In the second contest, Rio blew open a 2-2 game with four runs in the 5th inning highlighted by 1st baseman Zach Dumler's three-run double to right center with two outs that was out of the reach of a diving Badger freshman right fielder Blake Toscano. Spring Hill cut it to a 6-4 deficit in the bottom of the frame when Stevens connected on his first homerun of the year for a two-run blast out of left field.
Rio tacked on an unearned run in the 6th inning, but the Badgers responded with a matching run in the next half with a two-out, RBI-double to left by senior 1st baseman John Hollingsworth. Spring Hill would leave the tying runs at 1st and 2nd, however, when freshman 3rd baseman Willie Floros closed the inning with a ground ball to 2nd base.
Badger starter sophomore Jack Howard (0-1) took the loss in 4.1 innings allowing three hits and three walks with two strikeouts. The RedStorm's Kyle Miller (1-0) was the winner in 4.2 innings with six hits allowed and two walks with two strikeouts. Landon Hutchison tallied his first save of 2013 in 2.1 innings with one hit, four walks and a strikeout.
On offense, Spring Hill was led by Stevens with his two hits and four RBI while Hollingsworth, Floros, freshman centerfielder Jack Lauber and freshman left fielder Garrett Webb each had two hits on the day.
For Rio, 2nd baseman Kyle Perez enjoyed a 3-for-6 day and centerfielder Chris Ford was 3-for-7. Right fielder Kirk Yates slapped a solo homerun in the 4th inning off Howard and 3rd baseman Grant Tamane ripped a double to left in the 6th inning off SHC freshman reliever Paul Sullivan.
The Badgers (1-3) will host Martin Methodist College (0-3) in a three-game non-conference series at Stan Galle Field this weekend beginning a single game at 4 p.m. on Friday and a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday.