Tiffin is a (playoff) baseball town this spring

I am sports fan, and am most definitely a baseball fan.

I am very excited about living so close to Major League franchises the Detroit Tigers (my favorite team), Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, and plan to check out a Toledo MudHens game soon. I recently re-named my fantasy baseball team to the Tiffin Trout (in honor of Mike Trout, my team’s best player).

The fact is, I like baseball (you’ll clearly notice I love sports as I write this weekly column moving forward).

Because of that, I have to give a tip of the hat to both of our local university teams — Heidelberg University and Tiffin University — who had some incredible recent feats on the diamond.

Heidelberg completed an impressive run last weekend with a 9-6 victory against host Adrian College in the Division III regional championship. It was the Student Princes’ first regional championship since 2010 and the team earned a well-deserved dog pile that was captured in the sports section of Monday’s A-T.

“It was just awesome to see those guys get to celebrate,” said coach Chad Fitzgerald to The A-T.

The win moved the Student Princes to 33-13 on the season, and the team was set to face Wooster Friday at home. Win the best of three series against the Fighting Scots, and Heidelberg will advance to the NCAA Division III World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Congrats to Heidelberg and to Fitzgerald, who was an assistant when the Student Princes last reached the World Series in 2010, and good luck as the Super Regionals roll on.

Across the Sandusky River at Tiffin University, the Dragons’ improbable run to success ended Saturday with a 15-5 loss to Ashland in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional championship, but it ended an incredible streak of six-straight victories that saw Tiffin, despite a losing record in the regular season, win the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament and take its first two games in the NCAA Regionals.

“I’ve been getting texts, messages on Twitter and messages and this and that,” Tiffin coach Joe Wilkins told The A-T last week. “It’s from guys that used to play in the program and alumni and people who were connected to the program. … It’s for all those guys.”

The Dragons even defeated Ashland once in the NCAA regionals before suffering a pair of losses to the Eagles that ended Tiffin’s season.

It did not shadow an impressive run that also deserves a congrats. Nice job Coach Wilkins and the Dragons.

For this baseball fan, the success of the local teams (not to mention the local high school teams who are in the midst of their state tournaments) is something to celebrate. Way to make Tiffin a baseball town this spring, and Go Heidelberg this weekend! Now let’s hope the Tiffin Trout continue the local success by carrying me to the fantasy baseball championship.

Jeremy Speer is the publisher of The Advertiser-Tribune and would love to hear from you. Email him at jspeer@advertiser-tribune or call (419) 448-3200.

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