February 23, 2014

Baseball Completes Doubleheader Sweep of La Salle

Follow Zips Baseball on Twitter (@ZipsBB) and Facebook

WILSON, N.C. – The University of Akron (3-2) baseball team won their third consecutive game in an 8-7 come back victory over La Salle University (0-6) on Saturday night at Fleming Stadium.  

Sophomore Michael Steensen made the start on the mound for the Zips, his second start of 2014. Steensen tossed 6.2 innings with one strikeout and three runs allowed, all unearned. He was given a no-decision in the game.

Akron struck on offense for the fourth game in a row to take a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first.  Junior Devan Ahart notched the first UA hit of the game and quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Brian Lees drove in Ahart from second on a single, his first collegiate RBI.

The game remained at the 1-0 score for three innings until the fifth when the Zips added one run to take a two-run lead. Junior Danny Lawrence drew a walk and stole second, and was then driven in by Ahart on an RBI single.

However, La Salle's offense sparked a three-run seventh inning to take the lead. The Zips followed the Explorers with a pair of runs in the seventh to retake the lead, 4-3. Ahart scored on a La Salle fielding error, and junior Joey Havrilak ripped an RBI double to left center scoring Brady Stewart on the play.

The 4-3 Akron advantage was short-lived, as La Salle notched a four-run rally in the eighth and put the game in their favor, 7-4. The Zips offense showed resiliency and fought back yet again with a four-run bottom of the eighth.

Freshman James Meeker III got on base via hit by pitch, and was driven in by Lawrence's single. Back-to-back walks by Ahart and Lees loaded the bases, then a third consecutive walk by Stewart brought in the second run of the inning.

Havrilak provided a clutch, two-run single to bring in both Ahart and Lees from second and third, respectively, to cap off the four-run rally and take a 8-7 lead. Havrilak led the offense three base hits and three RBI versus the Explorers, tying career highs for both statistics.

Junior Andrew Fanning earned the win for the Zips, as he finished off the last 2.0 innings of the game. Fanning struck out two and allowed one run en route to his first victory of 2014. Fanning's record now stands at 1-1.

In all, Akron scored a season-high eight runs and drew a season-best six walks. Ahart finished the day going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, one RBI, one walk and a stolen base. Lees completed his first multi-hit game of his collegiate career, while Matt Rembielak had his second consecutive multi-hit game. Rembielak is now hitting .400 this season.

The Zips will finish off the weekend with a 3 p.m., matchup against the Duke Blue Devils in the final game of the Duke Baseball Classic. video ($), audio and live Stats are available for the game.