Defensive Miscues Doom Eagles In Opener at Davenport

Defensive Miscues Doom Eagles In Opener at Davenport

The Ashland University baseball team got off to a 2-0 lead, but Davenport answered with three runs in the bottom of the first and built onto that lead for a 13-4 win on Thursday (April 26) evening in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The game was the first in a four-game series between the teams, who are now tied for second place in the GLIAC standings.

The Eagles (26-14, 13-8 GLIAC) got on the board with two runs in the top of the first. Freshman Austin Eifrid led off with a triple and junior Matt Littrell was hit by a pitch. Littrell moved up on a wild pitch and freshman Micah Allen delivered a two-run single.

Davenport (23-17, 13-8 GLIAC) answered with three unearned runs in the first inning off junior starter Chris Slavik. Ashland committed three of their seven errors in the inning.

The Eagles managed just three hits in the next five innings while the Panthers built a 13-2 lead.

Ashland closed the scoring in the eighth. Sophomore Vince Vanata tripled to lead off and freshman Zach Franz drew a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. Junior Sam Hawley then sent a two-run single through the middle to make it 13-4.

Vanata led the offense by going 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.

DU starter Justin Palmbos (5-3) earned the win, giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out nine. Slavik (1-1) took his first loss of the season, tossing six innings. Freshman Sam Rice struck out four in two relief innings.

The Eagles and Panthers will tangle again on Friday in a doubleheader that starts at 2 p.m.