It was a day that didn't start well for Tiffin, but it had a pretty good ending. The Dragons having dropped their first game of the day 16-0 to Northwood, rebounded to defeat Grand Valley State for the second straight day. Tiffin will now meet Northwood in the GLIAC Tournament Championship game tomorrow.
After taking a beating the way Tiffin did against Northwood, most teams would have moped and hung their heads, but not this team. Tiffin chomped at the bit to have another chance at the Lakers, and in the 1st inning they made it known.
Kurt Barbeau started the bottom of the 1st with a walk. He then moved to second on Kyle Lento's infield single. Tiffin loaded the bases on a Jay Smith walk. With no outs, Alec McCurry bounced into a double play, but Barbeau did score to make it 1-0. With Lento at third and two outs, Devon Fisk beat out an infield single to give Tiffin a 2-0 advantage.
An inning later, the Dragons played add on, scoring two more runs. With two outs and Brayden Callihan at second base, Lento ripped a triple to left center field to push Tiffin ahead 3-0. With a full count, Jay Smith chased Lento home with a single to give the Dragons a nice 4-0 margin.
Once more, the Tiffin lead grew in the 3rd, using a Jack Dennis single to center field to give Tiffin five runs on the board.
The lead was quickly wiped away in the top of the 4th. The Lakers crossed the plate five times on four hits and two costly Tiffin errors.
Tiffin turned to their seasoned vets in the bottom of the 5th for some run support. Isaac Perry provided for Tiffin, banging a leadoff double into the left center field gap to put the go ahead run in scoring position. Kyle Durham kept the line moving with a single up the middle, scoring Perry and giving Tiffin their lead back at 6-5.
Insurance was needed, and in the bottom of the 6th Tiffin found some. After reaching on a Lakers' error, Devon Fisk found himself at second base with two outs. Jack Dennis made sure Fisk wasn't stranded, hooking a single into right field to make it 7-5 Tiffin.
In relief, Brady Ward may have had the best outing of his career, tossing 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Ward punched out three and gave way to the Dragons work horse in the 9th.
Kevin Borst showed his grit in the 9th, bullying his way to a 1-2-3 inning to earn his 13th save of the season.
Ward earned the win on the mound for Tiffin, his second of the year. Borst is now Tiffin's all-time career saves leader, passing Rob Ricker's record of 13 that was set in 1997.
At the plate, Tiffin finished the game with 15 hits and four bases on balls. Individually, Isaac Perry finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Kyle Durham collected three hits as well, and drove in a run. Kyle Lento added a run batted in to his season stat line, and Jack Dennis collected a pair of hits and knocked in two runs.
The Dragons will now meet Northwood in the GLIAC Tournament Championship game. Since Northwood is undefeated in tournament play, Tiffin will have to beat the Timberwolves twice to win the GLIAC Tournament title. First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 am tomorrow morning.