The Ashland University baseball team got a dynamite outing from senior starter Devin Peters and the offense produced damage in the middle innings as the Eagles won Friday's (May 3) four-game series opener, 7-2, at Purdue Northwest.
The Eagles (35-9, 15-6 GLIAC) sit precariously atop the GLIAC standings with just three games to play. They, along with Wayne State, Northwood and PNW, have 15 wins. The Eagles, having played at least three fewer games than those three teams, are in the driver's seat for the GLIAC Tournament's top seed.
On Friday, Peters did not allow a hit until the third inning and racked up 10 strikeouts in seven innings as he diced through the Purdue Northwest lineup.
Ashland opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a two-out rally as sophomore Logan Stoldt drew a walk and sophomore Dillan Smith followed with a single. Junior Garret Robberts then roped a two-run triple into the right-center field gap to give the Eagles a lead.
Another two-out RBI hit in the fifth – this one by sophomore Micah Allen – stretched the lead to 3-0.
In the sixth, Smith drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on an error before a two-out, two-run single by senior Matt Littrell stretched Ashland's lead to 6-0.
Meanwhile, Peters was cruising. He retired the side in order in the fifth with two strikeouts, and pitched around a two-out single, striking out two more in the sixth.
The Pride (20-23, 15-10 GLIAC) finally reached him with a run-scoring infield single in the seventh.
Ashland turned to senior right-hander Ryan Curtis in the eighth, and while giving up one run, he closed the door on any potential comeback.
Allen's RBI single in the top of the ninth provided additional insurance.
Allen led the Eagles with three of their 11 hits. He, Littrell and Robberts had two RBI apiece. Sophomore Austin Eifrid was 2-for-4 with two runs and a walk.
Peters (8-0) stayed undefeated on the season, giving up just one run on five hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Kyle Flessner (3-5) took the loss for Purdue Northwest, allowing six runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings.
The teams will resume their four-game series on Saturday (May 4) with a doubleheader starting at noon CT in Hammond, Ind.