Rio baseball fall short of title

Rio Grande Sports Information

COLUMBIA, Ky. – Aaron Schwoebel had a two-run single in a three-run first inning, while Drew Pettit and Matt Robertson combined on a five-hitter to lead No. 4 seed Campbellsville University to a 4-1 win over the fifth-seeded University of Rio Grande, Wednesday night, in the loser's bracket final of the Mid-South Conference Baseball Tournament at Lindsey Wilson College's Egnew Park.

With the win, Campbellsville (31-18) advanced to play Lindsey Wilson in the championship first final and needed a pair of wins over the Blue Raiders to earn a spot in the NAIA National Tournament.

Rio Grande, which dropped its tournament opener to the Tigers last Thursday before three straight elimination game victories, finished its season at 36-20.

Head coach Brad Warnimont's team was picked 10th in the 11-team league in the preseason coaches poll.

Campbellsville got all of the offense it would need in the first inning against Rio Grande senior starter Ryan Robertson (Waverly, OH).

Tanner Nielsen led off with a double along the right field line and scored moments later when Michael Bush's grounder to second was errored.

Keaton Neeb followed with a single to right and was replaced by courtesy runner Levi McCamish, who was bunted into scoring position by Brandoon Johnson, setting the stage for a two-run single to center by Schwoebel to make it 3-0.

The Tigers made it 4-0 in the fourth when Schwoebel – a ..227 hitter coming into the game – led off with his second hit of the contest, moved to third on a single by Shayne Kelly and scored on a fielder's choice grounder to shortstop by Ryan Squires.?

The duo of Pettit and Robertson took care of the rest for Campbellsville.

Pettit allowed three hits, three walks and hit three batters, but kept the RedStorm off the scoreboard for the first six innings. The left-hander also fanned six.

Robertson, who tossed a complete game four-hit shutout in the opening game of the tourney against Rio, allowed two hits and unearned run while striking out six batters of his own over the final three innings.

Rio Grande stranded nine runners in the game, seven of which were left in scoring position, including freshman Chris Ford (Athens, OH) who had Rio's only extra-base hit with a two-out triple in the sixth.

The RedStorm's only run of the game came in the eighth inning when sophomore Grant Tamane (Pickering, Ontario, Canada) led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball, took third on a one-out fielding error by Robertson and scored on a groundout by sophomore Kyle Findley (Cincinnati, OH).

Pettit improved to 5-3 with the win, while Robertson earned his third save.

In addition to Schwoebel, Nielsen and Neeb also had two hits for Campbellsville.

Ryan Robertson went the distance in the loss for the RedStorm and finished 7-6.

Wednesday's game was the final contest in a Rio Grande uniform for six seniors – Robertson, Kyle Perez (Casselberry, FL), Shane Spies (Polk, OH), Vince Perry (Cypress, CA), Zach Dumler (Vandalia, OH) and Phillipe Dumont (Columbus, OH).