NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- The first installment of the River States Conference Baseball Games of the Week for the 2017 season features the top two teams in the current standings with (RV) Rio Grande at IU Southeast for a weekend series March 18-19.
Rio Grande (12-11, 6-2 RSC) and IU Southeast (11-6, 6-2 RSC) are tied for first place in the conference heading into the weekend. The RedStorm and Grenadiers will play the four-game series with doubleheaders Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m. in New Albany, Ind.
Watch Live on Stretch Internet with video streaming on IU Southeast's portal. Live stats will be available via the Dakstats webcast. Click the links above for live coverage. Follow on Twitter with hashtags #RSCgotw and #RSCBASEBALL and @RiverStatesConf and @RSCScores.
Both teams have come out victorious in their first two conference series of the year. Rio Grande started off by taking 3 of 4 games versus Point Park (Pa.) and followed that up with winning 3 of 4 over Brescia (Ky.) last weekend. IU Southeast has 3-1 series wins over Asbury (Ky.) and Midway (Ky.).
Not only a matchup of the top current teams in the conference, it is also a matchup of the last two conference tournament championship rounds. Rio Grande has come out on top in both of those occasions. Both teams competed last year in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
Rio Grande is second in the RSC in pitching with a 4.20 team ERA. That is led by Dariyn Lewis (4-0) with a conference-best 1.03 ERA. The RedStorm hit .285 as a team to rank fourth in the league led by Lewis (.358, 4 HR, 21 RBIs) and Carlos Flores (.338, 2 HR, 15 RBIs).
IU Southeast has a 5.41 team ERA to rank fourth in the league and hits .281 to rank sixth. The Grenadiers have the top hitter in the conference with Hector Marmol batting .388. Tanner Leenknecht leads the conference with 1.07 RBIs per game. Pitcher Ryne Underwood leads the RSC with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Chase Vanek leads has a 2.70 ERA to lead the starters on staff.