Tiffin unloads in regional opener

KENT — Tiffin may have entered the regional seeded eighth, but it announced its presence with authority.

The Dragons belted eight extra-base hits in a 21-hit attack, pulling away in the latter half of the game Thursday to upset top-seeded Ashland 17-10 in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Midwest regional at Kent State.

Tiffin (25-29) will play Bellarmine today at noon in the double-elimination tournament.

The Dragons wasted little time setting the tone.

Cody Orr, TU’s starting pitcher, led off the top of the first with a homer and Jack Dennis kick started a four-run burst in the second with his own leadoff homer to put Tiffin up 5-0.

The Eagles plated three runs in the bottom of the second and two more in the fifth to tie the game before TU pulled away.

John Heckman’s two-run double highlighted a four-run sixth for the Dragons, Brayden Callihan doubled in a run in the seventh and Zach Campbell’s three-run triple fueled a six-run eighth.

Meanwhile, Ashland (41-12) scored twice in the seventh and three times in the ninth, but couldn’t catch the Dragons.

Orr (6-1) got the win, allowing seven earned runs and 13 hits over seven innings. He also ended 4 for 6 with five runs and two RBIs.

Dennis added a single and another run, Heckman drove in another run and scored, Callihan went 4 for 5 with a run and three more RBIs, and Campbell finished 4 for 5 with a run and another RBI.

Nich Green and Kyle Vance both doubled, singled and drove in a run for TU, with Green scoring three runs and Vance scoring twice.

Kole Klasic singled twice, scored and knocked in a run and Nick Whetnall drove in a run.

Reliever Perry Bewley (3-4) took the loss for the Eagles.

Dillan Smith went 4 for 5 with a double and four runs, Micah Allen doubled and singled, Garrett Robberts went 4 for 4 with two runs and an RBI, and Carson Mittermaier singled three times and drove in two runs.