May 13, 2004
ASHLAND POSTS 5-1 WIN OVER NKU
Eagles score three times in fifth inning to erase 1-0 deficit
ASHLAND, Ohio - A flash of lightning from Mother Nature halted play in the middle of the fifth inning Thursday as Northern Kentucky University and Ashland University battled in the first round of the NCAA Division II North Central Regional Tournament.
Fifty minutes later, a lightning-like shot off the bat of Ashlands Josh Gaub snapped a 1-1 tie and keyed the Eagles 5-1 victory over NKU.
Gaubs two-run double to left field capped a three-run inning and gave Ashland a 3-1 lead. The top-seeded Eagles added two more runs in the seventh and coasted to the victory over fourth-seeded NKU, which had won eight straight games going into Thursday.
For the first four innings, Ashland (46-13) struggled against NKU starter Derrik Moeves. The game was tied at 1-1 when a thunderstorm halted play in the fifth inning with Ashland batting and two runners aboard. When play resumed after a delay of 50 minutes, Moeves left the game in favor of Chad Anderson.
Gaub greeted Anderson by hitting the relievers first pitch for a two-run double. That was all Ashland starting pitcher Cody Castle would need. Castle allowed just three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Moeves, the Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year who entered Thursday with a scoreless innings streak of 20 2/3, was charged with three earned runs. He gave up four hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out four batters and walked two before being relieved.
NKU (37-24) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Lewis Jones hammered a double off the wall in left field and scored after consecutive ground outs by Matt Wagers and Justin Mundt. Castle, however, settled down and surrendered just one more hit the remainder of the game.
Gaub went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead Ashland, which knocked off NKU for the third time this season. David Waters was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Eagles, who swept a doubleheader from the Norse in the regular season by scores of 13-4 and 7-4.
NKU will meet second-seeded Grand Valley State University - a 16-7 loser against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in the other first-round game - at 10 a.m. Friday in an elimination contest.
Play will continue through Saturday in the double-elimination format. The winner of the North Central Regional will advance to the NCAA Division II World Series in Montgomery, Ala., May 22-29.
NCAA II North Central Regional
(hosted by Ashland University)
Thursday, May 13
UW-Parkside 16, Grand Valley State 7
Ashland 5, Northern Kentucky 1
Friday, May 14
Grand Valley State vs. Northern Kentucky , 10 a.m.
UW-Parkside vs. Ashland, 1 p.m.
Elimination game, 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 15
Championship game 1, noon
Championship game 2 (if necessary), 3 p.m.