Special to the Herald

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Ashford baseball team returned to the diamond Tuesday afternoon and split a pair of games against Benedictine University at Springfield.

After dropping a 9-1 decision in Game 1, the Saints bounced back in Game 2 on the strength of Kevin Delzell’s complete-game seven-hitter in a 4-2 win.

Sophomore Tyler Davis had four hits to lead the Saints (8-13), and Riki Vasquez drove in a pair of runs on the day.

Delzell (3-4) won his third straight decision in the nightcap, scattering seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts. The Saints plated a run in four straight innings, giving Delzell all the support he needed.

R.J. Roberts opened the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the second, and Colton Christensen added to the lead with a run-scoring single in the third.

After Delzell pitched out a bases-loaded jam in the third, Vasquez made it a 3-1 game with an RBI infield single in the top of the fourth. One inning later, Davis stretched the lead to 4-1 with an RBI single to right, scoring Lucas Pattison.

The Bulldogs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out RBI single, but they left the tying run at the plate one batter later.

Benedictine spoiled a promising Ashford start in the opener.

The Saints grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when when Vasquez roped a single to right-center field, scoring Tanner Courtney from second base.

The Bulldogs (5-16) evened up the game with a run in the fourth off Ashford starter Pat Macaione, chasing him from the game at the end of the inning. Benedictine-Springfield broke the game open against the AU bullpen, scoring seven times in the fifth and once in the sixth to close out the scoring.

The Saints play a home doubleheader at 3 p.m. today against Clarke.

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