Ashland University's baseball team got off to a strong start in its home Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference series with Grand Valley State on Saturday (April 2).
The Eagles, however, didn't get a chance to build off that start.
Ashland improved to 14-9 overall and 5-0 in the GLIAC after a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Lakers (12-9-1, 3-2) in what was supposed to be Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday. The second game, however, was cancelled due to snow/weather forecast.
"We got a couple big hits together. It was a good win," said Ashland head coach John Schaly.
The Eagles improved to 6-1 in their last seven games thanks to a three-run bottom of the fifth inning after trailing 2-1.
A GVSU error allowed both senior second baseman Mike Lewandowski and junior shortstop Brad Hartman to come around and score to give Ashland a 3-2 lead. Senior first baseman Mackenzie Hampshire added an insurance run with an RBI single.
Junior right-hander Brandyn Sittinger improved to 4-0 after allowing three hits, two runs and five walks and striking out five in 6 1/3 innings. Junior lefty Mike Gentile got the second out of the seventh inning, then senior righty Alex Smith got the last out of the game to set a new program record for career saves with 15.
"He's very even-keeled. He wants the ball in tough situations," Schaly said of Smith. "He's going to come at you. He's a competitor."
Following the game, the 2006 AU College World Series team was honored. That team was 47-17, and finished fifth in Division II both on the field and in the final poll – the program's best-ever finish.
The Eagles and Lakers will return to Donges Field for two more games on Sunday (April 3) at 1 p.m.
"You never know weather-wise around northern Ohio this time of year," Schaly said. "Getting three in will be good."