CLINTON, Iowa - The 2012 season came to an end for the Ashford University baseball team on Saturday, Apr. 28, when Waldorf College returned to the friendly confines of Ashford University Field. After being swept by the Warriors on Friday night, the Saints rallied and won on the last day of the season, 3-2.
Center fielder Gary Mayberry closed out his junior season in purple and gold by going two-of-four at the plate and scoring two of the three runs put across by the home team. Sioux City, Iowa sophomore Ryan Fraley also was two-of-four at the dish on the day while driving home a pair of runs.
The Warriors struck first, but Ashford knotted the game at one-all with their chance at the bats in the bottom half of the first. A Fraley one-out fielder's choice plated Mayberry from third base which erased the one run posted by Waldorf in the opening half of the frame.
Both teams had opportunities to score following the first, but it wasn't until the fifth inning that Waldorf regained the lead with a lone run, taking a 2-1 advantage.
But as in the first, AU answered quickly in the next half-inning when the squad scored a pair to take their first lead of the game, 3-2. Left fielder Eric Nunez plated the first run when he singled to right center field, bringing home Mayberry. Then, Fraley doubled home Nunez when he belted a two-out shot to right center to break a 2-2 deadlock.
Waldorf would only get one more hit throughout the rest of the game though after chasing AU starter Zach Smerz. Reliever Tim Elias worked the final three innings, allowing the final hit in the ninth, to pick up his first save of the season. Elias struck out four as Ashford won the matchup by a 3-2 decision.
Smerz worked six complete innings while scattering five hits and fanning seven. The Burbank, Ill.-native allowed both runs, but only one of which was earned.
The victory closes AU's season with a 21-32 record overall and a 9-15 mark in league play.
Following the game, the Saints celebrated the careers of 11 seniors which played their final game in a Saints' uniform. Michael Caravia, Eric Nunez, Mitch Jankowski, Tim Elias, Brandon Haines, Matt Wohrley, Cam Puetz, Rafael Ordaz, Marc Arsenault, Jeran Courtney and Joe Dashek concluded their collegiate careers on Saturday.