Lowe’s SF Finishes Eagles GLIAC Tourney Comeback Win

Lowe’s SF Finishes Eagles GLIAC Tourney Comeback Win

The Eagles certainly have a flair for the dramatic.

Ashland University's baseball team, on the verge of losing for the second time on Saturday (May 9) and being eliminated from the 2015 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at the Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia, Ohio, scored five times in the bottom of the ninth inning to take an 8-7 decision from Wayne State.

The winning run came off the bat of freshman catcher Ryan Lowe, who lifted a sacrifice fly to score junior first baseman Mackenzie Hampshire from third base.

The Eagles, the 2015 GLIAC regular-season champions, are 36-16. They will play second-seed Grand Valley State (33-16) on Sunday (May 10) at 11 a.m. If the Lakers win, they win the tournament and earn the automatic NCAA tournament bid. If Ashland wins, a second tourney championship game to decide the title will follow.

Wayne State struck quickly with a run in the top of the first inning, then tacked on three more runs in the top of the third and another in the top of the sixth for a 5-0 advantage.

Ashland began to rally in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs of its own. Lowe began the Eagle scoring with an RBI single, and was followed by junior third baseman Blake Bellman scoring on a wild pitch and sophomore designated hitter Steve Mowry hitting an RBI double.

Wayne State, however, extended its lead to 7-3 in the top of the ninth with a pair of runs. That, however, just set up the Eagles' last-ditch heroics.

AU started the bottom of the ninth with RBI singles by senior second baseman Stephen James and junior right fielder Mike Lewandowski to get the score to 7-5, then the Eagles knotted the game at 7 on a Bellman two-run single – which set up Lowe's game-winning fly ball.

James, Lewandowski, Bellman, senior left fielder Kyle Brooks and junior center fielder Nick Edwards each had two of AU's 12 hits, and Bellman and Lowe each had two RBIs.

Lowe, who played in just 11 varsity games through April 26, is 10-for-26 (.385) with 11 RBIs, four doubles and eight runs scored in the last nine games. AU is 7-2 in those games.

Junior closer Alex Smith was lengthened for the second time of late, allowing five hits, three runs (two earned) and a walk while striking out three in six innings out of the bullpen. Freshman Luke Smith improves to 6-1 after getting the last two outs of the top of the ninth.