Wayne State Claims 2010 GLIAC Baseball Tournament Championship
Release courtesy of the Wayne State University Sports Information Department
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - The Wayne State University baseball team (32-18) claimed the program’s first GLIAC Tournament championship in dramatic fashion, overcoming a five-run deficit in the late innings to defeat Ashland University (35-20), 7-6, on Saturday afternoon at V.A. Memorial Stadium.
Ryan LaPensee (LaSalle, Ont./St. Thomas of Villanova)
hit a pair of three-run homers to fuel the comeback, including one
in the seventh inning which gave the Warriors the lead.
Brett Shankin (Washington, Mich./Romeo) earned the
complete-game victory, striking out seven as Wayne State, which
entered as the No. 1 seed after winning the GLIAC regular-season
title, defeated Ashland for the second day in a row.
The top three hitters in the WSU order - Brad Guenther (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline), Andrew Ciennik (Waterford, Mich./Mott), and LaPensee - generated seven of WSU’s nine hits and scored all seven runs.
LaPensee’s first three-run shot of the game narrowed Wayne State’s deficit to 6-4 in the sixth inning. It sparked the Warriors’ second come-from-behind win in three GLIAC Tournament games.
The Eagles, who just 12 hours prior escaped with an extra-innings victory to eliminate Grand Valley State from the tournament, took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Ryan Lane’s first of two home runs.
Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont./St. Anne’s) drove in a run to tie it up in the fourth, but Lane struck again in the fifth with a three-run blast. Ashland added two more in the sixth on a two-run single by Jacob Petkac.
Guenther led off the sixth with a base hit and, after Ciennik was hit by a pitch, LaPensee lofted a fly ball to right which carried through the wind over the wall.
With two down in the seventh, Guenther again started a rally with a single. Ciennik doubled to left, and LaPensee smacked his second three-run shot over the batters-eye wall in center.
Shankin (6-3) retired the Eagles in order in the eighth and worked out of a jam with two runners on in the ninth to complete the game.
Ashland’s pitching depth was tested in the tournament, as the Eagles had to come through the loser’s bracket following Friday’s 12-6 WSU win. Mike Doretich made just his third start of the season and worked five innings, allowing four runs on five hits.
Jeremy Sloan took the loss (3-2) in 2.1 relief innings.
Wayne State will move on to the NCAA Regional Tournament beginning Thursday afternoon. The field for the tournament will be announced Sunday night at 10:00 on NCAA.com.
Wayne State won five of the seven meetings with Ashland this season … LaPensee led WSU with a .583 (7-12) average, nine RBI and six runs scored in the tournament … Saturday marked Shankin’s second complete-game postseason win of his career, the other a 6-2 victory at the 2008 NCAA Regional against the Eagles.