The offense for Ashland University's baseball team has picked up the pace in recent days.
A season-high 19 runs in Game 2 on Saturday (April 1) at home against Walsh helped the Eagles (11-15, 4-6) earn a doubleheader split. Ashland outlasted the Cavaliers (16-6, 8-2), 19-13, for its third double-digit-run game in the last four outings after losing Saturday's opener, 4-0.
"That was a good win for us," said Ashland head coach John Schaly. "We played good defense all day long."
In Saturday's Game 2, the Eagles put up five crooked numbers – three runs in the first, seven in the fourth, three in the fifth, four in the sixth and two in the seventh. While there were key hits such as a two-run double by junior right fielder Connor Barleben in the fourth, Ashland also used eight Cavalier errors to score 13 unearned runs.
"We forced them into mistakes," Schaly said. "We put the ball in play pretty hard, and obviously, they made some mistakes. But we forced them to make some mistakes."
Freshman designated hitter Carson Mittermaier was 2-for-5 with four RBIs and a run scored, junior second baseman J.P. Sorma was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, freshman left fielder Vince Vanata was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored and freshman third baseman Kevin Browne scored four times.
Ashland received a key five innings of relief from junior left-hander Zack Whitehead, who earned his first win as an Eagle. He allowed five hits, six runs (three earned) and three walks while striking out one.
Game 1 was a nail-biter through five innings, as the Eagles and Cavaliers were scoreless going into the sixth. Walsh scored three runs in the sixth to break the tie, the eventual winning runs coming home on a two-run single by Luke Caple.
Ashland senior lefty Mike Gentile (3-5) authored a complete-game four-hitter, allowing four hits and two walks and striking out seven. He was bested by Cavalier Matt Iosue (4-1), who twirled a complete-game three-hit shutout with four whiffs and two walks.
"We swung the bats well in the first game. We hit the ball hard, and they caught it," said Schaly. "Six of the 21 outs were hit hard. And then we kept hitting the ball hard in the second game."
UP NEXT: The finale of the four-game set at Donges Field, two games on Sunday (April 2) at 1 p.m.