The Ashland University baseball team stranded 14 runners and the defense allowed six unearned runs as Purdue Northwest salvaged the final game of a four-game series, 9-3, on Sunday (April 22) afternoon at Donges Field.
The Eagles (26-12, 13-7 GLIAC) saw their four-game winning streak stopped, but the squad has still won 17 of its last 21 games.
The Pride (15-18, 7-12 GLIAC) opened the scoring in the third inning against AU freshman starter Josh Stover. PNW had two down with just a runner at first, but an error put two on before an RBI hit, a walk and a three-run double gave the visitors a 4-0 lead.
Purdue Northwest starter Kyle Freel kept the Eagle bats quiet, retiring five in a row going into the seventh. Two walks and a single in that inning loaded the bases, but Freel induced a groundout to keep the Eagles of the board. Ashland finished just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Senior lefty Zack Whitehead worked around a two-out single in the eighth before Ashland finally capitalized on its advantages with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore Carson Mittermaier and senior Greg Ludwig each singled before an RBI double by freshman Micah Allen. Sophomore Vince Vanata lifted the next pitch into the right-center field gap for a two-run double to cut the margin to 4-3. Two walks loaded the bases, but reliever Chad Patrick struck out junior Matt Littrell to end the threat.
The Pride scored five runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach even as the Eagles loaded the bases for the third straight inning in the bottom half.
Stover (1-5) suffered the loss, despite not allowing an earned run in six innings. He walked one and struck out two, giving up five hits. Freel (4-3) earned the win for PNW, tossing seven scoreless innings with three walks and five strikeouts. Patrick earned his first save of the season.
Mittermaier, Allen, Vanata and senior Connor Barleben had two hits apiece for the Eagles, who matched the Pride's 11 hits.
The Eagles are scheduled to square off with in-region foe Ohio Dominican on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Columbus.