TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin baseball is set to begin their inaugural venture into Great Midwest Athletic Conference action this weekend when they travel to Ohio Dominican for a four-game series. The Dragons also head to Ashland on Wednesday for their final tune-up before conference play.
Since the Dragons joined Division II, Tiffin and Ashland have met 46 times, with the Eagles holding a 33-12-1 overall record in the series. The teams most recently played earlier this season down in Florida, as TU held a 4-3 lead through six innings but the Eagles scored eight runs in their final two at-bats to take an 11-4 win. John Heckman and Zach Campbell each had three hits for the Dragons, while the Eagles' Matt Littrell went 4-4 with a pair of RBI.
Tiffin and Ohio Dominican have squared off 27 times in the Division II ranks, with the Panthers registering a slight 15-12 advantage in the series. Former GLIAC foes, the teams squared off in February nonconference doubleheader last season, with TU claiming the first game 5-2 and ODU pulling out a 4-3 win in game two.
Tiffin faced tough competition in Florida over Spring Break, and look to bounce back upon their return to Ohio. The Dragons are coming off a three-game set against then-No. 24 Saint Leo, as they fell to the Lions in each contest but kept games two and three close until the final out. Tiffin has a pair of outfielders in the top ten in the conference batting average ranks thus far, as Zach Campbell is leading the way at .485 and John Heckman is eighth at .434. Heckman is also leading the GMAC with six doubles. Cole Maxwell has also been strong on the mound in five appearances, going 11.2 innings with a 2.31 ERA.
Scouting the Eagles:
Ashland is off to a good start in 2019, as they come in to Wednesday's game with 9-3 record, including a period of six-straight wins from March 3-8. However, they have fallen in their last two outings, including a 4-2 loss to Northern State, a team that Tiffin walked off earlier this season. The Eagles are a strong offensive team, hitting a combined .305 thus far. Sophomore Dillan Smith leads the way in the early going, hitting .462 with three doubles and nine RBI. Perry Bewley and Devin Peters have been the aces of the staff thus far, as Bewley has recorded four appearances and 15.2 innings with a 1.72 ERA and 27 strikeouts while Peters has thrown 19.1 innings in three appearances with a 1.86 ERA and 28 punchouts.
Scouting the Panthers:
Coming off an appearance in the NCAA Midwest Regional last year, Ohio Dominican was picked by the GMAC coaches at the top of the preseason poll. However, the Panthers have struggled a bit in 2019, coming into the weekend series below .500 at 6-7 on the year. Freshman Manny Vorhees is leading the team in hitting so far, holding a .354 average with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, and eight RBI. Mitchell Bault heads the pitching staff, coming into the weekend with a 3.80 ERA in 21.1 innings with 26 strikeouts to just four walks.