The Ashland University baseball team built a 9-0 lead through 4.5 innings then held on to win an 11-9 decision at Gannon on Friday (March 15) afternoon in Erie, Pa.
The Eagles (11-3), ranked No. 25 in the nation, got solid production from the top of their order as sophomore Austin Eifrid, senior Sam Hawley and junior Carson Mittermaier combined to go 6-for-12 with four doubles, a homer, eight RBI and five runs scored.
The teams combined for seven home runs on the day with Eifrid and sophomore Logan Stoldt providing the Eagles' contribution.
Ashland led 2-0 after one inning on Hawley's RBI double and Stoldt's run-scoring groundout. Eifrid's three-run homer in the second inning gave Ashland a 5-0 lead. It was his first career home run.
Back-to-back doubles by Hawley and Mittermaier in the fourth added three more runs before Eifrid's two-out RBI single made it 9-0 in the fifth.
Gannon finally got to Ashland starter Devin Peters with four runs in the fifth inning, and added another in the sixth.
The Knights cut the margin to 9-8 with three runs in the eighth before junior lefty Josh Smith shut down the rally after a two-run homer by Dominic Mori – the Knights' second of the inning.
Stoldt homered with one out in the ninth and sophomore Logan Moss stole third and scored on an error to give the Eagles an 11-8 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Smith retired the first two batters of the inning, but the next three reached and cut the lead to 11-9. The left-hander retired Jared Beach – the winning run – on a groundout to end the game.
Peters (2-0) earned the win, allowing five runs on eight hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts. Smith earned the save – his first of the season.
The Eagles and Knights continue their series with a doubleheader on Saturday (March 16) at 1 p.m. at Donges Field.