Three pitchers combined for a two-hitter as the Ashland University baseball team won the series opener at Saginaw Valley, 4-1, on Friday (April 5) afternoon in University Center, Mich.
The Eagles (24-3, 8-0 GLIAC), ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II, extended their program-record winning streak to 15 games and bumped the Cardinals (12-10-1, 6-2-1 GLIAC) to third place in the GLIAC standings.
Sophomore right-hander Perry Bewley took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and despite not having his best control, was able to give the Eagles 5 1/3 quality innings before turning it over to the bullpen.
The Cardinals tied the game in the fifth, getting two runners on with a hit batsman and a walk before a single by Andrew Burke brought in Logan Russo. Bewley stranded runners at the corners in the inning by getting a strikeout and a fly out.
Bewley left with a runner at second and one out in the sixth, but junior left-hander Josh Smith came on and induced a groundout and a lineout to end the inning.
Junior Carson Mittermaier and senior Matt Littrell executed a successful double steal in the seventh to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead before Smith recorded the first two outs of the seventh on a double play.
He turned it over to senior closer Chris Slavik, who got Derrek Clyde to flyout to strand a runner at third. Slavik pitched around a one-out walk in the eighth by striking out the last two hitters.
Allen padded the AU lead by leading off the ninth with a solo homer, his third of the season.
Slavik set down the Cardinals in order in the ninth to preserve his third save of the season. He is now 2-0 with two saves in four games this week. He needed just 27 pitches to get through 2 1/3 innings.
Bewley (2-2) earned the win, giving up just one hit and allowing one earned run in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Amani Godfrey (2-3) suffered the loss for the Cardinals, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on eight hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out seven.
Mittermaier, returning from a four-plus game absence due to injury, led the offense with three hits, including a double, while Allen was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The Eagles and Cardinals resume their four-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 12:05 p.m.