The Tiffin University baseball team split their doubleheader with the University of Mary on Thursday, falling in game one 8-4, and then rolling to a 12-4 victory in the night cap.
The Marauders got out of the gate quickly, plating a run in the top of the 1st via a walk, sacrifice bunt, and single. The University of Mary continued to build a substantial lead against Tiffin, scoring two more runs in the 2nd, and two in the 6th inning.
Trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the 6th, Tiffin got on the board. Brayden Callihan started the frame with a triple to right center field, and walked home on Alec McCurry's blast that cleared the left field wall to make it 6-2. With two outs, a walk to John Heckman loaded the bases for pinch hitter Ryan Thomas. The senior dug in and laced a single to left field scoring a pair of runs to make it a two run game at 6-4.
The Marauders found two insurance runs in the top of the 7th, enabling the University of Mary to hold on and drop the Dragons 8-4.
Jake Monnin took the loss on the mound for Tiffin, tossing 5 1/3rd innings allowing six runs while striking out five. At the plate Alec McCurry and Ryan Thomas accounted for Tiffin's four runs, with both collecting two runs batted in. Brayden Callihan had another strong game, finishing 2 for 3 with a triple and a double.
Tiffin fell behind early in the second game of the afternoon, surrendering a single run in the top of the 1st. The Dragons offense revved the engines throughout the contest, starting with a John Heckman drive to deep left center field that cleared the wall to tie the score at 1-1.
Tiffin took the lead for good in the 3rd inning, plating two runs on three hits. With two out and a runner in scoring position, Jack Dennis singled back up the box to give Tiffin a 2-1 lead. John Heckman continued his rabid pace at the plate, slicing a triple into the right center field gap to score Dennis and make it 3-1 Tiffin.
The merry-go-round picked up speed in the 4th, as Tiffin scored four more runs on five hits and an error. After two singles and a sacrifice bunt, Brayden Callihan pushed a run home with a single through the left side of the infield, and then advanced all the way to third base on a throwing error that allowed another run to score, giving Tiffin a 5-1 cushion. Callihan had little time to catch his breath as Alec McCurry chased him home with a single to left field that made it 6-1. McCurry swiped second and rolled to the plate on Kyle Lento's bouncer up the middle to push the lead to 7-1.
The Marauders got two runs back in their half of the 4th, pulling the score to 7-3 in favor of Tiffin. It didn't take the Dragons long to make up for what they'd lost, scoring five more times with two outs in the top of the 5th. Cody Orr doubled, and was in danger of being stranded before McCurry saved the day with a single to give Tiffin an 8-3 advantage. Kyle Lento doubled behind McCurry to make it a 9-3 game. Then John Heckman made it all the way home on a little league homer, being credited with a triple and scoring on a throwing error, to push Tiffin's lead to 12-3.
The Marauders added a single run in the 5th, but the Tiffin pitching staff held the University of Mary scoreless over the final two innings to preserve a 12-4 victory.
On the mound Jon Laird earned the win, doing so with six strong innings of work while punching out five. At the plate the Dragons banged out 15 hits as a team, with Alec McCurry leading the charge with four hits, three runs scored, and two runs batted in. John Heckman finished 3 for 3 with two runs scored, and a career high four runs batted in. Kyle Lento finished with a pair of hits and two runs batted in, and with two more hits Brayden Callihan raised his batting average to a team high .429.
The Dragons will play a single game on Friday, taking on West Virginia Wesleyan at 9:00 a.m.