The University of Findlay baseball team played their first home game in three weeks on Wednesday, April 30 vs. Ashland University and lost 10-9 despite an incredible comeback effort in the late innings. The loss moves the Oilers to 11-28 on the season and 8-21 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
The Eagles jumped on top in the early part of the contest as they pushed across four runs in the first three innings of play, giving the visitors a 4-0 lead after three complete innings.
Findlay rallied for a run in the bottom of the fourth when Joe Sickler drove in Derek Draper on a sacrifice fly to center field, however, Ashland got the run back in the top of the fifth, making the score 5-1 after five innings.
Ashland's big inning came in the top of the sixth as they pushed across four runs on seven hits.
The Oilers answered for three in the bottom of the sixth. The frame began with a walk to Logan Harrah, who scored on a single by Reid Rothenbuhler. Draper followed with a single and the pair was driven in by Nick Antonides, bringing the score to 9-4 after six.
The teams traded runs in the seventh, but that left Findlay in a tough position as they headed to the final inning trailing 10-5.
Rothenbuhler got the offense started in the ninth with a double to left-center field and scored on a single from Draper. A fielder's choice gave the Oilers two out, still staring down a 10-6 deficit. The home team did not go down quietly. Back-to-back doubles from Sickler and Antonides pushed two more runs across and brought the game to 10-8 and forcing a pitching change. Austin Adams then singled to center, scoring Antonides. Chase Goulette came in to pinch hit and walked, putting runners on first and second, down 10-9. With two strikes to Miguel Valdez, Ashland's coach made another pitching change, the third of the inning. A slow roller to second base ended the comeback and ended the game.
Starter Mike Steele took the loss for the Oilers as he pitched 4.1 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Rothenbuhler lead the Oilers offense with a 3-for-5 performance that included a double and two RBI. Draper also collected three hits while Sickler, Antonides, and Adams each picked up two hits.
The Oilers are back on the road tomorrow as they travel to Tiffin for a make-up contest vs. Dragons. First pitch is set for 4:00pm.