ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University baseball team picked up a split in Saturday's doubleheader at Wayne State on Saturday (April 21) afternoon in Detroit. The Eagles won Game 1, 7-2, before falling in the nightcap, 4-0.
The Eagles turned a triple play in Game 1 and scored all their offense in the fifth inning before Greg Spiess shut down the AU offense in Game 2.
Through Saturday's play, the Eagles are third in the GLIAC with a 15-9 record. Four teams are in a scrum for second place, all separated by just two games. Grand Valley State (18-6) has won 13 straight and leads the Eagles by three games.
Wayne State (22-13, 13-9 GLIAC) opened the scoring in the first inning of Game 1, getting two singles to start the inning. Andrew Ciennik then dropped down a bunt, but sophomore third baseman Tyler Gray's (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) throw went wide and allowed a runner to score, putting runners on second and third.
After a walk to load the bases, Kyle Vesey lined out to junior Austin Erb (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) at first base. Erb put out the runner on first before firing to Gray to finish the triple play.
After that, AU starter Zach Botjer (Deshler, Ohio/Sinclair CC) settled in, allowing just one hit until the seventh inning.
The Eagles (23-15, 15-9 GLIAC) produced all their offense in the fifth inning, scoring seven times on six hits and one WSU error. AU sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning with eight in a row reaching base. Freshman outfielder Adam Urbania (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic) had a two-run single in the inning.
Botjer allowed the final run of the game in the seventh inning. The right-hander and reigning GLIAC Pitcher of the Week, threw very well for the Eagles. He upped his record to 6-3, allowing just two runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Botjer made 104 pitches – 72 for strikes.
Josh Wedesky (4-3) took the loss for the Warriors, surrendering all seven runs on 10 hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Urbania was 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored and junior John Broll (Mississauga, Ont./Genesee CC) and sophomore Wade Kaido (Zanesville, Ohio) had two hits apiece. Ciennik was the only WSU player with two hits.
In Game 2, the AU offense was shut down by Wayne State starter Greg Spiess. The Eagles recorded just two hits off the left-hander, who made just 81 pitches (57 strikes).
Senior right-hander Aaron Hilt (Richmond, Ohio/Edison) countered for the Eagles, but the Warriors touched him for three runs in the fourth inning and another run in the sixth. Only two runs were earned as the Eagles committed three errors in the game. Hilt (6-5) struck out four and walked one in defeat.
Spiess (3-1) recorded 17 of the 21 outs by groundout or strikeout. The Eagles had their best opportunity to score in the third inning. Urbania led off with a single and stole second with one out. He moved to third on a groundout, but did not score.
Chris Gebara and Kasey Koster were both 2-for-3 for the Warriors.
The teams will rematch on Sunday (April 22) with a doubleheader scheduled to start at noon.