Warriors Down #6 Eagles With Ninth Inning Rally

Warriors Down #6 Eagles With Ninth Inning Rally

Wayne State scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Ashland University baseball team, 5-4, on Friday (April 12) afternoon at Harwell Field in Detroit.

It was the first of a four-game series between two of the GLIAC's top teams.

The Eagles (27-5, 10-2 GLIAC) drew eight walks in the game, but stranded nine runners and were unable to hold onto a 4-2 lead heading into the ninth inning as Jacob Finkbeiner ripped a two-run, two-out game-tying double and Tristen Jorah followed with a walk-off RBI single.

Ashland took a 2-0 lead in the second inning as juniors Michael Rogers and Jason Swope drew walks and were on the corners with two down. Sophomore Austin Eifrid then laid down a bunt single to plate Rogers before senior Sam Hawley roped an RBI single to right.

That forced Wayne State starter Tyler Waldrop from the game as Brennan Cox came on from the pen. Cox walked junior Carson Mittermaier to load the bases, but he got senior Matt Littrell to line out to strand three runners.

In the fourth, Swope and Eifrid drew walks before Mittermaier drove in Swope with a single to center field.

Meanwhile, senior starter Devin Peters pitched around singles in each of the first three innings to keep the Warriors (24-8, 8-5 GLIAC) off the board. All-GLIAC first team catcher Justin Kelly go hosts a run back with a solo shot in the bottom of the third to make it 3-1.

The score remained 3-1 until Mittermaier led off the seventh inning with his fourth home run of the season. Wayne State answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh on Rudy Ramirez's RBI groundout.

Peters pitched into the eighth inning, leaving with one out and runners at first and second. He turned it over to senior right-hander Chris Slavik, who walked Michael McLean to load the bases, but then struck out Kelly and forced Hunter DeLanoy into a groundout to end the threat and keep the score at 4-2.

In the ninth, the Warriors drew two walks against Slavik, who got the first two outs, before Finkbeiner and Jorah delivered the final blows. 

It was the first loss of the season for Slavik (8-1), who leads the GLIAC in victories. Peters went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Richard Hovde (3-2) earned the win by getting the last two outs of the ninth for Wayne State. Cox tossed 6 2/3 innings of relief and gave up two runs on four hits and five walks with seven strikeouts.

Eifrid led the Eagles offensively, reaching base all five times he stepped in, going 3-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. Mittermaier was 2-for-2 with two RBI and a walk and Swope drew three walks.

The Eagles and Warriors will continue their four-game series on Saturday (April 13) with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. in Detroit.