It was a little more than just home sweet home for Ashland University's baseball team on Friday (March 18) afternoon.
Playing their 2016 home opener, the Eagles put up crooked numbers in four different innings in a 16-3 defeat of Saginaw Valley State in a non-conference nine-inning game. AU is 8-6 on the young season, while the Cardinals are 6-9.
"We played well, in all phases of the game," said Ashland head coach John Schaly. "We got 18 hits, so we swung the bats, played errorless ball, made all the plays defensively, both Brandyn (Sittinger) and Cory (Teachout) pitched well, so we put it together in all phases today."
Ashland scored three times in the bottom of the first inning, once in the second, five times in the third and thrice in the fourth for a 12-0 lead. The Eagles added a run in the sixth and three more in the eighth.
Of those 18 Ashland hits, four came from junior catcher Adam Vasil, who upped his season average to .280.
"It was good for him, just get him going mentally," Schaly said. "He's just been thinking too much. (We) tell him just go up and hit, so hopefully it will get him going."
Said Vasil, "We've prepared a lot this week. We hit well in Florida, but not as well as we were expecting, so from a team standpoint, to get 16 runs today was huge. For me personally, I felt good."
Sittinger, a junior right-hander, improved to 2-0 after striking out nine and allowing seven hits, three runs and a walk in six innings. Teachout, also a junior righty making his first relief appearance of 2016, pitched three scoreless innings for the save, allowing three hits and a walk and striking out one.
Brandyn Sittinger Comments
"Hopefully, that will get him going a little bit," Schaly said of Teachout. "He'd been struggling a little bit with his command. Three shutout innings for him will hopefully get him going."
"They both threw well," Vasil said. "Brandyn did a great job, kept the ball low. Cory came in and did great shutting the door. Good outing all the way around."
The Eagles have alternated wins and losses in each of the last nine games.
Friday's game was the first of 13 consecutive home games scheduled for the Eagles. Ashland and SVSU will play one nine-inning game at Donges Field on Saturday (March 19) at 1 p.m. and Sunday (March 20) at 1 p.m.