SPRINGFIELD, IL- Rochester College lost a heartbreaker 4-3 to top seeded Spalding University today, May 10, in extra innings. The Warriors finish the Small College World Series third out of ten teams, and finish the season 26-24.
David Woodson (Vallejo, CA/Vallejo) and Carlos Zabaleta (Colonia, NJ/Sussex CC) each had an RBI for the Warriors. Eric Ramirez (San Antonio, TX/Catholic Central) concluded a great tournament by going 3 for 4 at the plate with a run. Senior Ryan Chipka (Waterville, OH/Anthony Wayne) went 2 for 4 in his final game as a Warrior with a run. Andrew Jarrell (Commerce, MI/Walled Lake Northern) started on the mound for Rochester College, and went 3 innings. He gave up 4 hits and struck out 2 batters. Caleb Tifft (Auburn Hills, MI/Avondale) pitched 2.1 innings, giving up 1 earned run. Johnny Barreto (Colonia, NJ/Colonia) pitched .2 innings in relief, surrendering 1 earned run. Ron Carter (Royal Oak, MI/Royal Oak) closed for Rochester College and was given the loss.
Kyle Just and Ira Land tallied RBIs for Golden Eagles. Bryan Clemmons led the bats for Spalding, going 2 for 4 at the plate with a walk. Derek Ferch and Eric Johnson finished the game 1 for 4 with a run. Zach Stevenson pitched a complete game for the Golden Eagles, lasting 9 innings and striking out 4 batters. He gave up 8 hits and 2 earned runs.
Rochester College got off to a quick start in the top of the first, with back-to-back hits by Chipka and Ramirez. Chipka scored for the Warriors on a throwing error by the shortstop Ferch. Spalding tied the game up at 1 in the bottom of the third after Just doubled to left field to bring in Johnson. Rochester College reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth with an RBI single by Zabaleta that brought home Ray Yesh (Dearborn, MI/Cabrini). The Warriors expanded their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth thanks a double to right center by Woodson that brought in Ramirez.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Rochester College led 3-1. Tifft got a quick out, causing a ground out by Clemmons. The next batter reached on a single to right field, which brought in Barreto to pitch for Tifft. A second base runner reached on a walk, which brought Land to the plate. Land hit a grounder to short and beat out the throw to avoid the double play. Two runs scored on the play to tie the game at 3.
Carter pitched two scoreless innings to force a 9th inning. After going three up and three down in the top of the 9th, Ferch reached first base for the Golden Eagles on a hit by pitch. Just reached base via an error, which also advanced Ferch. With bases loaded after an intentional walk, Ferch stole home on a wild pitch to end the game 4-3, in favor of the Golden Eagles.
"I am really proud of the way the guys fought all season especially in the World Series when they took everything down to the wire," said assistant coach Hal Watts.
Rochester College finishes the Small College World Series in third place, with an overall season record of 26-24.
"Overall this season we played tremendous, especially with our youth. We came into the World Series and showed heart in every single game. Most teams would have given up in the situations that we were in," said head coach Jordan Ackerman.