BALTIMORE, Md. – Tiffin baseball opened their 2019 season with a split against Shepherd University, falling in the first game 7-6 but scoring three runs in the final inning of game two to earn a 5-2 victory.
Tiffin trailed by four after three innings of game one, but TU was able to get to Shepherd starter Ryan Potts in the fourth though, as they quickly loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Hunter Havekost notched TU's first RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to left to score Jack Dennis, followed by another walk to Colin BeDell to load the bases once more and force a pitching change.
Kole Klasic would hit into a fielder's choice to add another run, and Tiffin loaded the bases yet again as Brayden Callihan was hit by a pitch. With two outs and two runs already across, the Dragons got their first hit of the inning as Zach Campbell roped a double to left to clear the bases and give Tiffin a 5-4 lead.
TU was not done with the inning yet, though, tallying one more run as John Heckman followed with a single to score Campbell from second.
The Rams quickly answered, though, cutting the deficit in half with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Tiffin loaded the bases again with three-straight two-out walks in the fifth, but could not push across any runs, which proved to be costly as Shepherd scored in the bottom of the inning to tie things up at six.
The game eventually went to extra innings, where Shepherd got a two-out walkoff single in the bottom of the eighth to take the victory.
Tiffin tallied eight walks in the game but only four hits, with Campbell registering two of them as well as three of the six RBI. Cody Orr got the start for TU, allowing five runs (all earned) over 3.1 innings but ending up with a no decision. Michael Ross threw well in relief, going 4.1 innings and striking out six while only giving up a pair of runs, but was saddled with the loss.
Game two was much more of a pitchers dual between the Dragons and Rams, as the two teams managed just two runs apiece through the first six innings.
Both of the Tiffin runs were unearned as Callihan scored on a Heckman grounder that was booted in the third, and Heckman then singled home Campbell after Campbell advanced to third on an error in the sixth.
The Dragons broke the deadlock in the seventh, as Nich Green led off with a walk and was tripled home two batters later by Campbell. Heckman followed with his second RBI of the game, hitting a sacrifice fly to center to score Campbell and put Tiffin up 4-2.
Now with two outs, Dennis doubled to right and was brought around by a Kyle Vance single to put the Dragons up by three. Tyler Wehrle worked around a fielding error to set down the Rams in the bottom of the inning and close out the win for the Dragons.
Jake Monnin went four strong innings of two hit, one-run ball to start the game for TU, and was followed by Wehrle going three innings and also giving up one run on two hits to earn the win in his first collegiate appearance. Heckman finished with two hits and three RBI in the game, while Campbell had three hits and scored twice. Hunter Havekost also had three hits for the Dragons.
The final matchup of the three-game series with Shepherd will take place tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.