The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 31, 2014

Saints end winless streak

Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald

---- — DAVENPORT – After going 11 consecutive games without a win, the Ashford University baseball team got back in the win column Saturday afternoon when they opened a four-game set against St. Ambrose at Modern Woodman Park.

After dropping the first game 4-3, the Saints rallied from a three-run deficit in for a 4-3 win in Game 2.

The Saints wrapped up the four-game weekend set with another split Sunday. Ashford won the opener 4-0, then lost the second game 9-0.

Senior Steven Sotiropoulos was Sunday's Game 1 star for the Saints, scattering three hits for his first career shutout. Manny Acevedo had two RBIs in Game 1 and Lucas Pattison finished with three hits on the day as AU moved to 6-14-1 on the year.

Ashford scored twice in the second inning, the first running scoring on an error and the second on Cam Bortell's RBI single. The Saints added to their lead in the third when Acevedo brought home John Caravia and R.J. Roberts with a single up the middle.

That was more than enough for Belleville, Ill., native Sotiropoulos, who struck out five hitters and did not walk a batter as he moved to 3-2 on the year.

The Bees got the solid pitching and hitting in the nightcap.

A pair of errors led to two first-inning runs, then the Bees added one run in the third and four more in the fourth to make it 7-0. Meanwhile, the Ashford offense was able to muster only four hits off Bees starter Michael Lynch. St. Ambrose added two more runs in the sixth inning to round out the scoring.

Roberts, a junior from Rockford, Ill., had four hits and drove in three runs for Ashford in Saturday's split. Pattison picked up a pair of RBIs to go along with three hits.

Tanner Courtney's two-out, bases loaded single scored Pattison and Lawrence Herron in the fourth inning to pull Ashford even at 3-3 in the opener, but the Bees emerged victorious thanks to a walk-off sacrifice fly off Eric Musselman (1-2), sending the Saints to their 10th straight defeat.

Jimmy Six started the game for Ashford and allowed three runs (two earned) on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out four.

It was Ashford's turn to rally for the win in the second game.

St. Ambrose wasted no time jumping on Ashford starter Pat Macaione, scoring two times in the first and once more in the second, knocking Macaione from the game. The Ashford bullpen silenced the Bees' bats the rest of the way, yielding one hit over the final five innings.

The AU offense tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth on an RBI single from Roberts and a two-run double off the bat of Pattison. One inning later, Roberts delivered the game-deciding hit, driving in Courtney with a single up the middle to make it a 4-3 game.

Junior Kevin Delzell (1-1) picked up his first win as a member of the Saints, striking out two hitters in two innings of scoreless relief.

Next up for the Saints is their home opener at noon Thursday against Benedictine University at Springfield (Ill.) at Ashford University Field.