The Tiffin University baseball team dropped a pair of games to nationally ranked Saint Leo on Tuesday afternoon. Tiffin pitched it well in game one, but fell 1-0. In the nightcap the Lions squeaked by Tiffin 6-5, scoring the game winning run in the bottom of the 6th inning.
Luke Fraley has had some tough luck thus far this season. After allowing only three runs to No. 14 Mercyhurst University in his first start of the season, Fraley was more than ready for the Lions of Saint Leo. The senior right-hander baffled the Lions for the vast majority of the game, tossing 5 2/3rd innings. Luke scattered five hits throughout his outing, but he didn't receive any offensive help.
With the run column blank for both sides, the Lions went to work in their half of the 6th. Saint Leo started the frame with a walk and then a sacrifice bunt to put the go ahead run in scoring position. A sharp single back up the box sealed Tiffin's fate as the winning run cruised home to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
The Dragons had their chance in the top of the 7th, but had the tying run gunned down at the plate.
Fraley falls to 0-2 overall, but in 11 2/3rd innings this season he has allowed only four earned runs, posting a 3.09 earned run average. As a team Tiffin collected only five hits.
Tiffin's offense sprang to life in the second game of the afternoon, plating three runs over the course of the opening two innings. In the 1st, Brayden Callihan led off with a walk, and then advanced to second on an Alec McCurry sac bunt. Callihan scurried home on a Kyle Lento single to center field to put Tiffin ahead 1-0.
After Tiffin starting pitcher Brady Ward held the Lions scoreless in the bottom of the 1st, the Tiffin offense was at it again in the 2nd. Kyle Vance singled to start the frame, followed by a Nich Green liner to right field that put two on with nobody out. A fielding error allowed Ryan Thomas to reach first and loaded the bases for Deylen Miley. A hot shot past the Lions' diving third baseman plated Vance to give Tiffin a 2-0 lead. Luke Brust bounced into a 5-4-3 double play, but another run scored to give Tiffin a 3-0 lead.
The Lions tied the score in the 3rd inning, scoring three runs on five hits. Tiffin regained the lead in the 5th, scoring a pair of runs on one hit and a pair of errors. Brust started the 5th with a single and then abruptly swiped second. He rolled to third base when Callihan reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Alec McCurry reached on another error, allowing Brust to score to give Tiffin a 4-3 lead. Kyle Lento then drove home the final run of the day for Tiffin on a sacrifice fly to right field, making it 5-3.
The Lions tied the score the next half inning at 5-5, and then took the lead for good in the 6th, doing so on a balk.
Michael Ross took the loss in relief for Tiffin, the decision was the first of the season for Ross. Offensively Tiffin pounded out six hits with Kyle Lento finishing 1 for 2 with a pair of runs batted in.
The Dragons fall to 1-4 overall.