The Ashland University baseball team takes on Central Missouri for the second time at the World Series, this time with elimination on the line.
NCAA Division II Baseball Championships (Game 10)
#4 Ashland (48-14) vs. #5 Central Missouri (44-15)
Wednesday, June 7, 10 a.m.
USA Baseball National Training Complex | Cary, N.C.
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LAST LOOK AT MONDAY: The Eagles got a terrific start from junior right-hander Chance Hitchcock and the AU lineup put 21 runners on base via a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch as they rolled to an 8-3 win over NYIT on Monday.
FIRST WIN AFTER GAME 1: In Ashland's six trips to the NCAA Division II World Series, it was the first win in program history to come after the first game of this final stage. The Eagles are now 4-11 all-time in World Series play, and Monday's win was the first to not come in the team's opener.
ON THE VERGE: The win Monday pushed Ashland's record to 9-0 this season in tournament elimination games. The Eagles were 3-0 in elimination games in the GLIAC Tournament, 4-0 in the NCAA Midwest Regional, and 1-0 in the NCAA Midwest Super-Regional.
BRILLIANT CHANCE: Hitchcock was excellent for the Eagles, working into the ninth inning as he commanded all his pitches against the Bears. He struck out six and walked just one in 8 1/3 innings while scattering 10 hits. Hitchcock threw 82 strikes in 114 pitches. Senior closer Chris Slavik needed just four pitches to record the last three outs, inducing the Eagles' third double play pivot of the game.
MATTY ICE: Senior second baseman Matt Littrell got the Eagles on the board with a two-run single in the fifth inning to snap a scoreless tie. He added an RBI double in the sixth and finished 2-for-4 with two walks, three RBI and three runs scored.
ON BASE 4x: Joining Littrell on base four times was leadoff man, sophomore shortstop Austin Eifrid, who was 2-for-4 with a walk, hit by pitch and a run. Eifrid ran his on-base percentage to .502 on the season as the Eagles' table-setter. He also extended his school record and NCAA lead in hit by pitches to 35.
CARDIAC EAGLES: The Eagles have had a flair for the dramatic this season, coming from behind to win 23 times, winning 13 times in the last at-bat, and winning in walk-off fashion eight times. Four of their walk-off wins have come in the postseason.
STRIKEOUT KINGS: The AU pitching staff has established a school record for strikeouts with 531 on the season, which ranks seventh in Division II.
STAY HOT: Junior third baseman Garett Robberts continued his hot postseason by reaching base three times and going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk against NYIT. His RBI single in the fifth inning stretched AU's lead to 3-0. In 15 games this postseason, Robberts is hitting .436 (24-for-55) with five doubles, two homers and 21 RBI.