Ashland University's baseball team was surrounded by snow on Friday (Feb. 27) morning. By Friday night, the Eagles were roughly 50 degrees warmer – and had their first win of 2015.
Following a flight to Florida for their annual spring trip, the Eagles began the new season in Auburndale by holding on for a 3-2 decision over Davenport (9-2). The victory was Ashland head coach John Schaly's 999th career win.
Junior pitcher David Kretschmar made his AU debut in relief, picking up the win after a perfect sixth inning of work. Junior Alex Smith got the save with a hitless ninth inning and a pair of strikeouts.
Ashland used five pitchers. Senior Vince Frate got the Opening Day start, and allowed three hits, a run and two walks while striking out four in five innings. Sophomore Brandyn Sittinger pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one walk and striking out five.
Junior centerfielder Nick Edwards was 2-for-4, as Ashland collected eight hits.
Junior first baseman Mackenzie Hampshire tied the game at 1 in the top of the fourth with a solo home run. Ashland scored twice in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Adam Vasil and on Davenport's lone error of the game.
The Eagles will play their second game of the season on Saturday (Feb. 28) at 3 p.m. in Auburndale against Benedictine-Springfield.