TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. – The Ashland University baseball team stayed alive in the GLIAC Tournament with a 10-7 win over Wayne State on Saturday (May 11) afternoon at Wuerfel Park.
The Eagles (39-11) will now play undefeated Davenport at 6 p.m. Saturday to advance to the championship game on Sunday.
The AU offense came alive on Saturday, pounding out 13 hits and scoring 10 runs to keep Wayne State from gathering momentum.
After Wayne State scored a run in the first inning, the Eagles responded with four in the bottom of the inning. Sophomores Micah Allen and Logan Stoldt each recorded RBI singles and junior Garret Robberts lined a two-run double over the third baseman's head to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead.
The Warriors (34-15) scored two in the third with the help of an error to cut the margin in half, but the Eagles came back with three runs in the third inning – all scoring on passed balls. The last two came around on the same pitch as senior Matt Littrell drew a walk and alertly got in a rundown that allowed Eifrid to score from second.
AU starter Perry Bewley settled in in the fourth and fifth innings, retiring six in a row after the first two outs of the sixth. The Warriors then drew two straight walks before Tristen Jorah lifted a three-run homer off reliever Ryan Curtis to cut Ashland's lead to 8-6.
Once again, the Eagles bounced back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning with the help of a Wayne State error.
Senior closer Chris Slavik, who finished the sixth inning, allowed just one run in the seventh and eighth innings to preserve a 10-7 lead.
Junior left-hander Josh Smith came on for the ninth and put two runners on with no outs, but got a strikeout, a pop out and another strikeout to end the game. He recorded his second save of the season.
Bewley (3-3) earned the win, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits. He walked four and struck out four.
The Eagles set a new program and GLIAC record for strikeouts in a season, now with 451 through 50 games.
Jack Schmidt (1-3) suffered the loss for Wayne State, giving up six runs on seven hits in two-plus innings.
Every AU starter reached base in the game with the leadoff man Eifrid getting aboard five times with three hits and two walks. Stoldt was 3-for-5 and Robberts and Allen each drove in two runs.