ASHLAND, Ohio – At times this season, the AU baseball team's offense has displayed fireworks like the Fourth of July. But at other times, the Eagles' bats have been silenced like a noisy child in the library.
On Sunday (April 22) afternoon, the Wayne State pitching staff played the role of the librarian, holding the Eagles to just one run in a doubleheader sweep in Detroit. AU fell, 5-1, in Game 1 and then was shut out, 2-0, in Game 2.
The Eagles (23-17, 15-11 GLIAC) fell behind in the first inning of Game 1 as the Warriors posted three runs off AU starter Brad Thomas (Orrville, Ohio) and the AU defense, which committed two errors in the inning. Just one of those runs against Thomas was earned.
In the second inning, the Eagles scored their only run of the day. Junior John Broll (Mississauga, Ont./Genesee CC) doubled and scored on a single by senior Zach Thompson (Marshalltown, Iowa/Cleveland State).
The Warriors (24-13, 15-9 GLIAC) got the run back in the second inning and made it 5-1 in the fourth inning.
The Eagles threatened in the sixth inning after junior Austin Erb (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) and sophomore Tyler Gray (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) walked to start the inning. Kyle Zimmerman came on to pitch for Wayne State and retired the next three AU hitters in order.
Chris Waha (2-1) picked up the win for Wayne State, allowing just one run on four hits in five innings. He walked five AU hitters and struck out four. Zimmerman picked up his first save of the season by tossing two hitless innings in relief. He struck out three.
Thomas (6-2) took the loss for Ashland. He allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out four in four innings of work. Senior Joe Malfara (Port Clinton, Ohio) and freshman Jake Baldwin (Madison Heights, Mich./Lamphere) each worked a scoreless inning in relief.
Freshman Giancarlo Saia (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic) had two hits for the Eagles in Game 1. Brad Guenther was 2-for-3 with two RBI for the Warriors.
The Eagles struggled to get their offense going in Game 2 as Alex Pierse tossed a two-hitter in a complete game shutout. He allowed just two singles and two walks while striking out six to improve his record to 4-1.
Ashland countered with junior Shayne Herold (LeRoy, N.Y./Genesee CC) on the hill. He was solid, allowing just single runs in the third and fifth innings. Herold (1-3) took the loss, striking out one and walking two in four-plus innings of work. Malfara tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
Saia and Austin Walts (Amherst, Ohio/Steele) had the only hits for the Eagles in the game. Kenny Davis and Alex Trojan produced the RBI for Wayne State.
Ashland returns to Donges Field on Wednesday (April 25) afternoon for a GLIAC doubleheader with Lake Erie. The Storm is in second place in the GLIAC. AU is 11-2 overall at Donges Field this season and has won nine of its last 10 at home.