LOVES PARK, Ill. - The Rockford University baseball team (4-9, 0-2 NACC) was swept by the Dominican University Stars (8-8, 2-0 NACC) in the home opener on Saturday afternoon. The Regents saw their lead slip in the first game as they fell 4-3 before dropping game two by a final score of 8-5.
Game 1: Dominican 4 Rockford 3
- Hunter Fiorito (Batavia, Ill.) started the game off for the Regents with a successful bunt and ended on second after a throwing error by the catcher.
- After a Jacob Rillamas (Yuma, Ariz.) walk, Brett Down (Princeville, Ill.) laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases.
- Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) would do enough for Rockford as he hit a sacrifice fly to center allowing Fiorito to score, giving Rockford the early 1-0 lead.
- The Regents added to their lead in the third as Fiorito got things started again, this time with a double to right field.
- After an out that allowed Fiorito to advance to third, it was Brett Down who singled into the left field that sent Fiorito home giving RU the 2-0 lead.
- Rockford was not done as Down stole second before Corey Saracco (Montgomery, Ill.) faced the pitcher with two outs. Saracco hung in and laced one to left field to bring Down home and increase the Regent lead to 3-0.
- Zack Jones (Rockford, Ill.) was unconscious on the mound for Rockford tossing the first eight innings and giving up just four hits, while pitching the shutout.
- Unfortunately, the Stars found some light late as they exploded for four runs in the top of the ninth to take their first lead of the game at 4-3.
- Rockford had a chance in the bottom of the frame as Rillamas singled through the left side with two outs. Dylan Johnson (Rockford, Ill.) stepped in to pinch run for Rillamas and did well advancing to second on a wild pitch.
- Next up Brett Down would draw a walk before Gunter was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the Regents.
- Unfortunately RU could not muster up a run as the Regents fell in game one 4-3.
Game 2: Dominican 8 Rockford 5
- The Stars used their momentum from game one to jump out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.
- Rockford would not go down easy as the Regents answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second.
- Saracco started the run by hitting to shortstop and beating out the throw at first.
- Kyle Waugh (Waseca, Minn.) would follow with a single, giving RU runners on first and second.
- Troy Tucci (Wood Dale, Ill.) did well on a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third.
- Cristian Bermeo (Chicago, Ill.) proceeded to crank one down the left field line good enough to score both runners and tie the game at 2-2.
- It would be another two-run inning for Dominican in the fifth as the Stars jumped back out to a 4-2 lead.
- Rockford did enough to regain the lead in the bottom of the frame as the Regents went off for three runs.
- With one out Hunter Fiorito drew a walk before Rillamas was hit by the pitch.
- Now with runners on first and second Down laced a double to center field scoring one.
- This time Gunter did well to poke a single to left scoring one and giving RU runners on the corners.
- After Gunter stole second and Saracco drew a walk, Waugh was up with the bases loaded. Waugh grounded out to short but not before Down was able to race home to score, giving the Regents the 5-4 advantage.
- The Stars tacked two more on in both the sixth and seventh to regain the lead at 8-5.
- Rockford's comeback attempt fell short in the ninth as RU left two runners stranded giving Dominican the 8-5 win.
- Zack Jones was incredible on the mound going 8 innings allowing just 4 hits and no runs scored. Jones struck out an impressive 10 batters.
- Hunter Fiorito finished 3-for-5 with a double and 2 runs scored.
- Brett Down went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
- Kyle Waugh finished 2-for-4 with a double.
- Michael Gunter led the way with 2 hits and an RBI.
- Kyle Waugh, Cristian Bermeo and Brett Down all logged an RBI, while Down also recorded a double.
The Rockford University baseball team returns to action on Sunday, March 31 when it travels to take on Concordia Wisconsin. First pitch is set for noon.