JACKSONVILLE, Ill. - The Rockford University baseball team (7-16) swept the Eagles of Robert Morris-Springfield (4-19) 20-9 and 13-4 on Wednesday evening. The Rockford offense put on a show in both games, tallying a combined 39 hits, including eight home runs, five doubles and four triples. Rockford's 20 runs in the opener, were the most for the Regents in a single game since March 5, 2016, when the Regents defeated Finlandia University 21-8. The Regents also tied a trio of single-game school records. Hunter Fiorito (Batavia, Ill.) tied the single-game triples record (2), and as a team, Rockford tied the single-game triples record (3) and the single-game stolen base record (12).
Rockford University 20 Robert Morris-Springfield 9
- Rockford opened the game with four runs in the top of the first inning. Senior Brett Down (Princeville, Ill.) got the inning started with a one-out walk. Corey Saracco (Montgomery, Ill.) followed with his first home run of the season to give the Regents a quick 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Kyle Waugh (Waseca, Minn.) crushed his first of three home runs on the day to extend Rockford's lead to 3-0. The Regents would add one more run in the inning, thanks to a Christian Garcia (Maricopa, Ariz.) hit by pitch, a Cristian Bermeo (Chicago, Ill.) single and a Troy Tucci (Wood Dale, Ill.) RBI single.
- However, the Eagles were able to answer right back with a trio of runs in the bottom of the first to pull back within one at 4-3.
- The Regents responded with a three runs of their own in the top of the second to make it a 7-3 RU lead. Hunter Fiorito led off the inning with a single and then stole second to put himself in scoring position with no one out. Brett Down then drove in Fiorito with an RBI single. Down would steal second and third to put himself in scoring position with no one out. Following a Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) hit by pitch and stolen base, Christian Garcia ripped a two-run double to put his team back in front by four, at 7-3.
- Unfortunately, the Eagles struck for a solo run in the bottom of the second and three more in the bottom of the third to tie the game.
- The RU offense then slowly began to put the game away with six runs over the next three innings, including a four-run fourth.
- Corey Saracco and Michael Gunter strung together back-to-back singles to lead off the the fourth. One batter later, Kyle Waugh belted his second home run of the game, to give his team a 10-7 advantage. Christian Garcia then singled and stole second to put himself in scoring position with no one out. Three batters later, Iszak Mestas (Burbank, Ill.) tripled in Garcia to make it an 11-7 Regent lead.
- The Regents added single runs in the fifth and sixth off a Cristian Bermeo RBI walk and a Brett Down solo home run.
- The Eagles would not go away quietly though, as they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull back within four.
- Fortunately, Rockford responded with a seven-run seventh, all of which came with two outs, to basically end the game.
- Following a walk and a Troy Tucci single, Iszak Mestas made it a 13-7 game with a three-run homer. Rockford would add two more runs later in the inning off a Justin Hallberg (Rockford, Ill.) pinch-hit, two-run single. Rockford's final two runs of the game came off a Kyle Waugh two-run double.
- Jake Schmollinger (Peru, Ill.) held the Eagles scoreless in the bottom of the inning to pick up the win.
Rockford University 13 Robert Morris-Springfield 4
- Rockford scored ten runs over the first three innings, including a seven-run second, to leap out to a 10-0 lead.
- Hunter Fiorito tripled to lead off the game. Brett Down followed with an RBI single to make it 1-0 after one inning of play.
- The Regents then blew the game wide open with seven runs in the second inning. Cristian Bermeo led off the inning with a solo home run. TJ Jones (Chicago, Ill.) would score the next RU run off an infield single and a throwing error by the Eagles. Rockford then strung together a Payton Clouse (Shannon, Ill.) double and a Hunter Fiorito RBI triple to make it a 4-0 RU lead. Two batters later, Corey Saracco singled in Fiorito as the Regents extended their lead to 5-0. Kyle Waugh then capped off the inning with a three-run home run, his third of the day, to give his team a commanding 8-0 advantage.
- Rockford added two more runs in the third off a Brett Down home run to put the game out of reach.
- The Regents capped off their amazing offensive performance with three more runs in the top of the fifth. Payton Clouse and Hunter Fiorito began the inning with a double and single to put runners on the corners with no one out. Troy Tucci then laced a two-run double into the outfield, scoring both Clouse and Fiorito. Rockford's final run in the inning came off a Cristian Bermeo sacrfice fly.
- Robert Morris-Springfield was able to score four runs in the bottom of the fifth to avoid being shutout.
- The remainder of the game was not without drama though, as Cristian Bermeo was just a single away from the cycle. Bermeo had previously homered and tripled in second and doubled in the fourth. Following a sacrifice fly in the fifth, Bermeo had one last chance to complete the cycle in the seventh. Unfortunately, he lined out to third to end the inning.
- Clay Goodwin (St. Francisville, Ill.) got the start on the mound for Rockford in the nightcap. Goodwin allowed no runs over his four innings of work and retired nine of the final ten batters he faced.
- Christian Pearcy (Tucson, Ariz.) was also extremely effective on the mound over his two innings of work. Pearcy struck out the side in both the sixth and seventh innings to preserve the win.
- Every batter for the Regents had a least one hit in the game.
- The Regents stole twelve bases to tie the RU single-game steals record.
- Kyle Waugh was 3-for-5 with two home runs, six RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base.
- Brett Down finished 3-for-5 with a home run, three stolen bases, three runs scored and two RBIs.
- Iszak Mestas went 2-for-5 with a home run, a triple, four RBIs and a run scored.
- Corey Saracco was 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs.
- Christian Garcia was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base.
- Troy Tucci finished 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, a run scored and an RBI.
- Jake Schmollinger picked up the win in relief. Schmollinger threw the final 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits and no earned runs.
- Hunter Fiorito finished a perfect 5-for-5 with four runs scored and an RBI. Fiorito also had a pair of triples to tie the RU single-game triples record.
- Cristian Bermeo went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Bermeo finished a single short of the cycle, after homering and tripling in the second and doubling in the fourth.
- Brett Down was 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored.
- Corey Saracco went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
- Payton Clouse was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
- Kyle Waugh finished 1-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and a run scored.
- Troy Tucci went 1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
- Rockford tied the team single-game triples record with three.
- Clay Goodwin threw four innings to pick up the win. Goodwin allowed no runs and just one hit while striking out two.
- Christian Pearcy threw the final two innings of the game. Pearcy struck out six and allowed no runs.
The RU baseball team returns to the diamond on Saturday, April 20 at Edgewood College. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon.