The Tiffin University baseball team split with the Ashland University Eagles on Sunday afternoon, securing the season series by winning three of the four games against the Eagles.
The Eagles came to play in game one, scoring four runs on eight hits against Tiffin starter Luke Fraley. Ashland continued to add to their lead, owning a 7-0 advantage by the end of the 5th inning.
Another Eagle crossed the plate in the top of the 6th to make it an 8-0 lead. Tiffin plated a run in the bottom half of the inning with Jay Smith's single to left center field to make it 8-1. Ashland regained their eight run lead with a run scoring hit in the top of the 7th to make it 9-1.
The Dragons collected three hits in the bottom of the 7th to plate two runs, but their fourth double play of the game cut short their rally as they fell 9-3.
Fraley took the loss on the mound for Tiffin, falling to 5-4 overall. Jack Dennis collected two more hits in the game and scored a run.
Youth was served in the form of freshman Michael Boswell in game two, as the young starter was exactly what the doctor ordered in the series finale.
The Eagles dented the plate first, scoring on two hits and a wild pitch to lead 1-0. The Dragons responded in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a pair of runs. Two Ashland errors aided Tiffin in the scoring, as Isaac Perry pushed Alec McCurry home with a bunt single to tie the score 1-1. Then Perry scored when Jack Dennis was hung up between first and second, making it to the plate on an errant throw by Ashland to give Tiffin a 2-1 lead.
The Eagles made sure the lead was short-lived, tying the score with three hits. The score remained tied for a few more innings, but the Eagles defense came back to bite them again in the 5th.
A throwing error allowed Kyle Lento to reach to start the frame. Lento then stole second and moved to third when the throw from the catcher sailed into center field. Jay Smith delivered Lento home with a bouncer through the left side of the infield to make it 3-2 Tiffin. Devon Fisk then doubled to the right field wall to score Smith to give the Dragons a 4-2 lead. Kyle Durham brought home the final run of the 5th with a solid single to left field to give Tiffin a 5-2 advantage.
A wild play in the bottom of the 6th allowed Tiffin to score another run, as two throwing errors on the same play enabled Lento to go from first base to home, giving Tiffin a 6-2 lead. In the bottom of the 7th, Ryan Davis was summoned from the bench to pinch hit with two on and one out. With a 3-2 count, Davis lofted a high fly ball to left field for a sacrifice fly and put the Dragons ahead comfortably 7-2.
While Tiffin was putting crooked numbers on the board, Boswell was throwing up zeros on the Eagles, holding Ashland scoreless in the 4th, 5th, 6th , and 7th innings.
Things got a little hairy in the 8th inning, as Ashland closed the book on Boswell with two runs to make it 7-4.
In the top of the 9th, reliever Kevin Borst trotted back to the mound for his second inning of work. He walked the first two batters of the inning, and then struck out the next two. With Ashland having committed nine errors, Tiffin had yet to commit a miscue until a errant throw in the 9th allowed the Eagles to cut the Tiffin lead to 7-5. With the tying run on base, Borst buckled down and punched out the final batter of the game to preserve a 7-5 Tiffin win.
Boswell earned his fourth win of the season with 7 1/3 innings pitched. He allowed four runs, two walks, and struck out eight. Offensively, Kyle Lento was 2 for 5 with two runs scored, and Isaac Perry finished with two hits, a run scored, and a run batted in.
Tiffin moves to 23-18 overall and 15-9 in GLIAC play. The win was the 100th of Head Coach Joe Wilkins' career.