ASHLAND, Ohio – With snow flying and temperatures in the low 30s across the north-central Ohio, Ashland and Tiffin decided to engage in the spring ritual of playing a cold-weather GLIAC baseball doubleheader on Wednesday (March 30) afternoon.
The teams made it through one game unfazed by the weather, but Mother Nature took control of game two, halting play in the second inning at Heminger Field in Tiffin.
In the first game, senior Ajay Meyer (Hamler, Ohio/Owens CC) pitched through the flakes, leading the visiting Eagles to a 5-1 win over the Dragons.
Meyer pieced together his fifth complete game in as many starts this season, allowing just three hits over seven innings and allowing just one unearned run. He walked none and struck out seven. He entered the game leading the GLIAC in strikeouts.
The right-hander took a no-hitter into the fourth inning when Colin Lowe reached on an infield single that loaded the bases after two hit-by-pitches earlier in the inning. Meyer escaped by retiring Val Helldobler on strikes.
At that point, the Eagles led 4-0. They scored three times in the second inning on the strength of three hits. Junior Ethan Houck (Fort Wayne, Ind./Glen Oaks CC) started the rally with a one-out single.
After the Eagles' second out of the inning, freshman Adam Murphy (West Carrollton, Ohio) and sophomore Matt Gundlach (Monroeville, Ohio/Sandusky Perkins) drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Senior Matt McAllester (Westlake, Ohio), AU's leading hitter, singled to give AU a 1-0 lead. Senior John Kuzio (Marion, Ohio/Pleasant) followed with a two-run knock that pushed the Ashland lead to 3-0.
The Eagles (12-6, 3-2 GLIAC) added to the lead in the fourth as Kuzio singled to drive in Murphy, who reached on an error to start the frame.
Meyer did not need more support than that, but the Eagles provided that in the seventh as senior Evan Melendez (Amherst, Ohio/Steele) delivered an RBI groundout to score Kuzio, who drew a leadoff walk.
The Dragons (5-14, 2-3 GLIAC) did not pose a serious threat in the seventh, scoring their only run of the game on an error with two outs.
Meyer (5-0) allowed just one hit to leave the infield in the first six innings, and that came on a fly out in the third inning. He lowered his ERA on the season to 0.92. He has struck out 44 in 39 innings pitched.
Kuzio was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored in the game. McAllester, who increased his batting average to .393, was 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Pat Curtin took the loss for the Dragons, surrendering four runs (three earned) on five hits with two walks and one strikeout. Three Tiffin relievers finished the game, tossing one inning apiece. Lowe was the only Tiffin player with two hits, going 2-for-3 and scoring the Dragons' lone run.
The teams started the second game of the scheduled doubleheader, but it was halted in the top of the second inning. The Eagles led, 2-0.
The game will resume in the top of the second inning when the Dragons travel to Ashland on April 20. The teams are scheduled for a doubleheader, and will also conclude the unfinished game on that day.
AU is next in action on Saturday and Sunday (April 2-3) for a four-game series with No. 4 Grand Valley State traveling to Ashland. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday.