GLIAC -- No. 1 Northwood, No. 3 Ashland and No. 5 Grand Valley State all earned victories on Thursday in the First Round of the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Baseball Tournament presented by Raymond James of Dearborn at the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) Corner at the Ballpark in Detroit. The six-team, double-elimination format runs through Sunday when a tournament champion will be crowned.
Northwood picked up a 9-3 victory to open the tournament over Tiffin thanks to a 4-for-5, 2 RBI performance at the plate from NU designated hitter Javier Martinez, while David Vinsky collected three hits on the day to help out GLIAC Pitcher of the Year Tyler Jandron who earned the win on the mound allowing two earned runs in seven innings with six strikeouts. Brayden Callihan recorded four hits for Tiffin in the defeat.
Grand Valley State took down its new crosstown rival and No. 2-seeded Davenport in the second game as the Lakers jumped on top early pushing three runs across in the first inning. GVSU poured it on in the eighth inning with a 5-spot including two bases-loaded walks, two RBI singles and a fielder's choice RBI. Jacob Gleason led the charger for Grand Valley State going 5-for-5 in the win with Tate Brawley picking up the win going 7.2 innings strong with five strikeouts.
The final game of the day featured Ashland earning a 1-0 victory in the bottom of the ninth over Wayne State in dramatic fashion. With the bases loaded, AU head coach John Schaly put in the call for the squeeze bunt which was executed perfectly by Alex Niecikowski to plate Connor Barleben for the game-winning score. Chance Hitchcock tossed eight scoreless innings for the Eagles allowing four hits with seven strikeouts, while his counterpart Jared Tobey went 8.1 innings allowing one run while striking out 11 batters.
Action continues on Friday with three more contests: No. 2 Davenport vs. No. 6 Tiffin (11:00 AM), No. 1 Northwood vs. No. 4 Wayne State (2:30 PM), No. 3 Ashland vs. No. 5 Grand Valley State (6:00 PM)
Follow all the action on the 2018 GLIAC Baseball Tournament Central page for links to live stats and video. Watch all the action on the Team1Sports apps for Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku.