ASHLAND, Ohio – After taking nearly a full day to complete, the fourth-ranked Grand Valley State Lakers finally triumphed over the Ashland Eagles, 16-7, on Sunday (April 3) morning. The game was suspended on Saturday (April 2) after a mix of rain and snow showers wreaked havoc on the weekend schedule. The second game of Saturday's doubleheader will not be played or rescheduled.
Saturday's game was delayed in the bottom of the seventh with one out and the bases loaded for the Eagles, who trailed, 16-5. After a one-hour, 30-minute delay, the coaches and umpires suspended the game after another bout of rain and snow slammed through the Ashland area.
The game resumed at 11:07 a.m. on Sunday morning with freshman Mickey Manser (Salem, Ohio/West Branch) at the plate against Grand Valley State reliever Cory Rademacher. Manser delivered a first-pitch sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 16-6.
Sophomore Matt Gundlach (Monroeville, Ohio/Sandusky Perkins) followed with an RBI single to right field that put runners on the corners. Senior Matt McAllester (Westlake, Ohio) walked to load the bases, but senior John Kuzio (Marion, Ohio/Pleasant) grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.
After two hours and 35 minutes of action on Saturday, it took just three minutes to finish the suspended game.
Early in the game, the Lakers (16-2, 5-0 GLIAC) opened up an 11-0 lead on the Eagles. Grand Valley State, scored single runs in the first and second innings, but blew the game open with a nine-run third inning off AU starter Brad Thomas (Orrville, Ohio).
In relief of Thomas, freshman Vince Frate (North Royalton, Ohio) settled the Lakers down, putting up zeros in the fourth and fifth innings, giving the Eagles a chance to chip away.
In the fifth, the Eagles (12-7, 3-3 GLIAC) started that process, cutting into the 11-0 lead by batting around and scoring five times. Freshman Mickey Manser (Salem, Ohio/West Branch) led off with a double to right-center. After two straight outs, the next eight Eagles reached base.
Senior John Kuzio (Marion, Ohio/Pleasant) singled home Manser to score AU's first run off GVSU starter Joe Jablonski. Senior Evan Melendez (Amherst, Ohio/Steele) followed with a triple to straight-away center field that scored Kuzio. Melendez scored on the play after a throw by shortstop Andrew Trepel bounced into the AU dugout.
Sophomore Shayne Herold (LeRoy, N.Y./Genesee CC) drove in Avery and Erb with a single down the left-field line to cut the lead to 11-5. Manser followed with a single that deflected off second baseman Garrett Yatch and into center field, but Gray was tagged out at the plate trying to score from second base, ending the rally.
The Lakers got all those runs back in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 16-5 lead.
Thomas (3-3) took the loss for Ashland, surrendering 10 runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Jablonski (4-0) remained unbeaten on the year, allowing five runs on nine hits in five innings.
McAllester, Kuzio, Gundlach and Manser had two hits apiece for the Eagles, who pounded out 12 in the game, but left 10 men on base.
Cory Phillips was 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI for Grand Valley State, which had 18 hits in the game. Giancarlo Brugnoni and Zach Laupp had three hits each and Cody Grice reached base four times and had a solo home run in the third inning.
The Eagles and Lakers are set up to play their regularly scheduled doubleheader on Sunday (April 3). The games will start five minutes following the completion of the suspended game.