Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Thanks to a combination of dominant pitching and timely hitting, the Ashford University baseball opened the 2014 season Saturday with a sweep of Purdue University North Central (Ind.) at Lenz Field.
The Saints offense pounced on Panthers pitching early in Game 1, scoring nine times in the first three innings on their way to a 10-3 win. Game 2 proved to be a pitcher’s duel that required extra innings, but AU got the winning run in the eighth to pick up a 2-1 win.
Junior Tanner Courtney collected his first career home run and picked up four RBIs on the day. Sophomore Lucas Pattison also belted his first career long ball, and Tomas Chardon drove in three runs for the Saints.
Seniors Jimmy Six, McKinley Portice and Eric Musselman held the Panthers offense in check, giving the Saints a nice balance in their first test outdoors this spring.
Six (1-0) went the distance for the Saints, walking two while striking out four and scattering six hits.
In the second game, offense took a back seat to the men on the mound, as AU’s Portice and the Panthers’ Dan Snyder turned in stellar starting performances.
Portice continued to dominate the Panthers hitters, but North Central broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning. A double and run-scoring single to start the inning led to the end of Portice’s day after 5 1/3 innings, giving way to Musselman, who shut the door on the Panthers.
Musselman (1-0) gave up one hit in 2 2/3 innings, striking out two.