Even if AU head baseball coach John Schaly won't watch his figures, others will do it for him. Those who are all eyes will tell you – the AU head coach isn't cutting back on wins. The extra W's are not weighing him down.
Schaly and the Eagles won three games on Wednesday (Apr. 17) at Tiffin. The Eagles finished off an 11-2 win in a suspended game, blanked Tiffin, 9-0 in nine innings and in a non-conference game between the teams, threw another shutout at the Dragons, 5-0.
With those three victories, Schaly reached 600 career wins at Ashland. His record in the AU dugout is 600-287-1. In his Ashland tenure, he's guided four teams to the College World Series. This year's team is ranked 19th in the nation and after Wednesday's trio of wins, is 26-10, 14-6 in the GLIAC.
Overall, Schaly is 963-504-1. He's also been a head coach at Berry (Ga.) and St. Leo (Fla.). This is his 16th year at Ashland and his 25th as a collegiate head coach.
In the suspended game, which picked up in the sixth inning on Wednesday with AU in front, 11-2, the win went to senior righty Eric Vaughan (Delta, Ohio/Owens C.C.). He pitched five innings last week at Donges Field when this game started and allowed two runs. Wednesday, junior left-hander Cole Hudson (Dresden, Ohio/Zanesville) came on and pitched the final two innings. Hudson didn't allow a hit or a run while walking one and striking out two.
Up next was a regularly scheduled nine-inning game. This was a conference game and senior right-hander Brad Thomas (Orrville, Ohio) did what he's done throughout conference play all year, he muffled the opposition. Thomas upped his record to 8-1 with a route-going effort. He held the Dragons to four hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out six.
Thomas has won six consecutive decisions. He downed the Dragons last week, 4-0. The senior is the GLIAC leader in victories.
AU led, 3-0 after six innings and 4-0 after eight frames. The Eagles broke open the game with five runs in the top of the ninth. Freshman designated hitter Mackenzie Hampshire (Delphos, Ohio/Elida) was 3-for-5 and freshman outfielder Luke Burch (Millersburg, Ohio/Berlin Hiland) was 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. Junior third baseman Wade Kaido (Zanesville, Ohio) was 2-for-5 and drove in two runs. Senior outfielder Austin Erb (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) and senior catcher John Broll (Mississagua, Ont./Genesee C.C.) had two hits apiece.
The final game of the day saw the Eagles get a quality start from freshman right-hander Ricky Krieger (New Philadelphia, Ohio). He tossed his first complete game of the year. Krieger (3-0) baffled the Dragons, holding them to three hits. He issued one free pass and struck out two. This was Krieger's third start of the year.
Tiffin got some good pitching from Tyler Glass, who started and went five innings. The game was scoreless until junior outfielder Alex Sortwell (San Mateo, Calif./Canada College) doubled to drive in a run in the fourth. In the fifth, Kaido brought home another run with a sacrifice fly. That scored infielder Stephen James (Westlake, Ohio), who opened the inning with a double.
In the sixth, James had a two-run single and catcher Adam Murphy (West Carrollton, Ohio) doubled to drive in the final run. Murphy is carrying a hot bat right now – he clubbed his first homer of the season last weekend.
The AU pitching staff has an impressive stretch going, too. Over the last six games, the Eagles have pitched four shutouts – two by Thomas and one each by Krieger and righty Jake Baldwin (Madison Heights, Mich./Lamphere).
Wednesday's three wins put an end to a two-game AU slide. Ashland has won seven of its last nine games and will play a three-game series at Malone this weekend (Apr. 20-21).