Ashland University's baseball team continued its winning ways of late with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference wins on Saturday (April 11) at Saginaw Valley State, 3-2 and 8-7 in 12 innings.
The Eagles, ranked No. 21 in Division II, improve on all their GLIAC-leading records – 23-7 overall and 12-2 in the conference. Ashland also sports a 10-game winning streak, the program's longest since a 12-gamer from April 1-13, 2009.
Game 1 saw Ashland score all three of its runs in the first three innings. Senior left fielder Kyle Brooks drove in all three runs and was 2-for-3, while junior designated hitter Mackenzie Hampshire returned to the lineup and was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Junior pitcher Jake Baldwin improved to 6-0 with six strong innings. He struck out seven and walked one, allowing six hits and two runs (one earned). Junior pitcher Alex Smith earned his fifth save of the season with a scoreless seventh inning.
The lengthy nightcap became that way when the Cardinals rallied from a 6-2 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. The Eagles scored twice in the top of the 12th and held on for the Saturday sweep.
Senior second baseman Stephen James, the two-time defending GLIAC South Division Player of the Week, hit the eventual game-winning two-run home run in the 12th, and was 2-for-5 with a double, four RBIs and two runs scored. Junior first baseman Mike Lewandowski had three of AUs 14 hits (3-for-5), and junior third baseman Blake Bellman drove in two runs.
Smith returned to pitch in Game 2, improving to 2-1 after 4 2/3 innings of relief. He struck out three, walked one and allowed five hits and a run.
The nightcap was the Eagles' longest game since a 4-2, 13-inning loss to Rockhurst in Florida on April 8, 2012.
The Eagles and Cardinals will play two more games on Sunday (April 12) starting at noon.