Lakers Hand Eagles First Loss In GLIAC Tourney

The Eagles in action at the GLIAC tournament.
The Eagles in action at the GLIAC tournament.

            Baseball has a lot of abbreviations – terms like RBI, ERA and OBP. Maybe it's time to add MIT.

            What do those last letters represent? How about the need for a mathematics major from that fine institution to decipher what in the world is going on with GLIAC and Midwest region baseball?

            One can look at all the numbers they want and try to determine who has the momentum at any given time. Here it is, early May and the eye test doesn't work. The standings are no sure thing either. Maybe it's time for a math formula.

            The latest example of this came in the GLIAC baseball tournament on Friday (May 10). Ashland, which is ranked first in the region and playing some of its best baseball of the season, lost to GLIAC regular season champ Grand Valley State, 9-2.  That means on Saturday (May 11), the final day of this double-elimination tournament, AU, GVSU and Ohio Dominican all have one loss and are still chasing the tournament championship.

            At 11 a.m., on Saturday, Ashland meets ODU. The survivor will play Grand Valley State at 2 p.m. This tournament is being played at Eastern Michigan University.

            Friday, Ashland and Grand Valley State were deadlocked, 2-2 when the Lakers pushed four runs across home plate in the fifth inning. GVSU added two more runs in the sixth for an 8-2 lead. That was more than enough to quiet the Eagles (34-17) on this day.

            AU's first two runs came courtesy of first baseman Tyler Gray's (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) second home run of the season and an RBI single by outfielder Shane Wagner (Volant, Pa./Mercyhurst Northeast C.C.). Gray's solo shot came in the second inning and Wagner, who had four hits in a win over Wayne State on Thursday, drove in his run in the fourth.

            After that Wagner hit, the Eagles failed to do much against GVSU starter and winner Sean Clancy. He went seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits. Clancy walked four and threw 53 of 94 pitches for strikes. However, the Eagles never broke through in a big way against him. AU stranded eight runners. Clancy is 4-4.

            In the fifth inning, the Lakers (31-15) received an RBI single from first baseman Giancarlo Brugnoni, an RBI double from designated hitter Jesse Abel and a run-scoring sacrifice fly from catcher Taylor Banks. The other run in the inning was unearned.

            In the sixth inning, Abel drilled a two-run single. Abel was 3-for-4 with four RBI. Brugnoni was 3-for-4 and left fielder Jamie Potts was 2-for-5.

            The loss went to starter Eric Vaughan (Delta, Ohio/Owens C.C.) He lasted 4.2 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits. Vaughan is 6-3.

            The Eagles have won three of four games against Ohio Dominican this season. The teams have seen a lot of each other recently. They played a three-game series in Ashland on the final weekend of the regular season and met in the first round of the GLIAC tournament. ODU is the fourth seed in this tournament. AU is the third seed.