Baseball loses last three games against Ashland

Baseball+loses+last+three+games+against+Ashland

The Gannon University baseball squad dropped three games in a row to the Ashland University Eagles over the weekend and will look to get back on the winning track Friday at home when it opens Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play against Slippery Rock.
The Knights lost 11-9 Friday to Ashland in their home debut in a game that showcased plenty of offense, and then lost both ends of a doubleheader, 8-3 and 3-2, Saturday at Ashland.
Even though the temperature sat below freezing prior to Friday’s first pitch at McConnell Family Stadium, Gannon was able to put five balls over the fence for home runs — an impressive feat given the elements.
In game one of three, Ashland jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after the first inning and when the Eagles came back up to the plate in the second they again capitalized with a three-run shot to bring the lead to 5-0.
Shortly after, the Eagles piled even more runs on with four more in the fifth.
Now down 9-0, the Gannon offense caught fire. Home runs from Nate Cardy (1), Dominic Mori (1), Jared Beach (2) and Ryan Kalbfus (1) brought the Knights almost all the way back to a tie, putting the score at 9-8 by the end of the eighth inning.
However Ashland countered with two more runs in the top of the ninth — a deficit Gannon could not overcome in the bottom of the inning.
The Knights finished with 13 hits, and Elijah Quiceno, Ian Hess, Beach and Mori each had two. Cardy drove in two runs, as did Beach, Mori and Kalbfus.
The next day, Gannon traveled to Ashland to compete in a doubleheader against the same Eagles team.
For the second game in a row, Ashland scored early and often and stayed ahead of the Knights throughout the entirety of the contest.
Scoring pairs of runs in the first and third innings, the Eagles were able to remain in front even when the Gannon offense finally broke through with some run support in the fourth on an RBI double from Quiceno.
However in the bottom half of the inning, Ashland responded with two more runs of its own to extend its lead to 6-1.
Gannon scored single runs in the sixth and seventh, but it would not be enough to overcome to the early damage done by the Eagles.
Quiceno had two of Gannon’s five hits and Hess drove in two runs.
Saturday’s doubleheader nightcap was a close one, but Gannon would again come up short.
The Knights managed eight hits, including two each from Luke Callahan, Beach and Hess, and took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on Brandon Wetherholt’s RBI single.
Ashland pushed across a single run in the bottom of the sixth to tie it at 2-2, but Gannon broke the tie in the top of the seventh on Quiceno’s RBI double.
However, Ashland loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh before a walk-off single gave the Eagles the win.
Following Friday’s home doubleheader against Slippery Rock, which gets underway at 1 p.m., the Knights will trek to Slippery Rock for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.
Through 16 games, Cardy tops the Knights in hitting with a .357 average, and he shares the team lead in home runs with four and is second in RBIs with 15.
Hess leads the Knights with 18 RBIs and is hitting .340 while Beach has four home runs and 11 RBIs.
On the pitching side, Cory Hegedus has been Gannon’s most effective starter, giving up 14 hits in 20.1 innings to go with 20 strikeouts and a 1.77 earned run average.

TYLER GROSHOLZ
[email protected]