There's a reason the AU baseball team wears gray on the road. Better the uniforms are gray than the hairs on the head.
Games like Wednesday's Ashland-Findlay game in Findlay can cause players and coaches to turn a darker shade on top. In the middle of the sixth inning, the Eagles were ahead, 9-1. The game ended with AU clinging to a 10-9 advantage with UF runners perched on first and second.
UF scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the game in the balance, the Eagles turned to righty Vince Frate. Normally a starter, Frate came out of the bullpen and got Miguel Valdez to ground out to second base for the final out of the game. Frate earned his initial save of the season.
Frate was the last of six pitchers the Eagles used in the game. This game featured 31 hits - 17 by the Eagles and 14 by the Oilers. The lone homer in the game came from AU infielder Wade Kaido.
The Eagles are 23-17, 13-12 in the GLIAC. Findlay is 11-28 and 8-21 in conference play. Wednesday's win gives AU a sweep of the season's three-game series with the Oilers.
In the early innings, the Eagles chipped away at UF starter and loser Mike Steele. He finally departed after 4.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. AU was getting a strong outing from Cory Teachout. The freshman righty worked 5.1 innings and gave up four runs on four hits. The rookie walked two and whiffed three.
The Eagles scored four runs in the sixth inning and that looked like it would be a big enough cushion on this day. In that sixth inning Kaido swatted a two-run homer and designated hitter Kyle Brooks had a two-run single.
The Oilers got their comeback started with three runs in the sixth. After that, AU would score only one more run and the Oilers worked their way back into the game against the AU bullpen.
Shortstop Austin Walts was on base most of the afternoon, he was 4-for-6 with a double and four runs scored. Brooks was 3-for-5 and scored twice and drove in three runs. First baseman Mike Lewandowski, left fielder Mackenzie Hampshire and outfielder Nick Edwards had two hits each.
For Findlay, Reid Rothenbuhler was 3-for-5 and drove in two runs. Derek Draper was also 3-for-5 and Jon Sickler was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
AU has three games left in the regular season. Those will be played this weekend at Saginaw Valley State. AU head coach John Schaly needs three wins to reach 1,000 for his career.