ADA — Defiance used a strong pitching performance from Aaron Stewart to take an 8-6 decision from the Ohio Northern baseball team Tuesday afternoon at a windy Wander Field.
The wind, gusting up to 40 miles per hour at times, made every batted ball an adventure.
Defiance improves to 4-9 on the season as ONU falls to 8-14.
Stewart pitched a solid seven innings, allowing three runs, two earned, while striking out eight to improve his record to 1-1 on the season.
Polar Bear starter Mark Sankovich (4-2), returning from an eye injury which forced him to miss his last start, went four innings, allowing four runs on eight and striking out six.
Offensively, sophomore Brandon Aselage was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a run batted in for Northern.
Sophomore Tim Pitro was 3-for-3 with two runs batted in for Defiance.
The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the first for Keith Wade.
Wade lined a single to right to score Kirk Jesse and stake Defiance to a 1-0 lead.
ONU answered in the bottom of the inning as sophomore Greg Gibbons led off with a single and stole second.
After a strikeout, fellow sophomore Brett Katana doubled to right to score Gibbons and even the score at 1-1.
Katana later scored on a throwing error to give Northern a 2-1 lead through one.
In the second, Defiance's Casey Kahsen doubled to start the inning and would score on a one-out double by Jesse.
Jesse then would cross the plate on Pitro's single up the middle and the Yellow Jackets regained the lead, 3-2.
Both teams pushed a run across in the fourth as Ben Gates singled and scored on a ground out for Defiance and Adam Grof singled and scored on an RBI single by Aselage for the Polar Bears.
Defiance then broke the game open in the sixth as it scored four times on just two hits.
ONU reliever Andy Zaebst loaded the bases with one out.
Wade then drove lefty Drew Wieland's first pitch down the left field line for a two-run double.
Trey Harris followed with an RBI ground out and the Yellow Jackets led 8-3 after six.
In the eighth, ONU freshman Eric Stegman singled up the middle to score Katana, who had walked to start the inning, to bring Northern within four, 8-4.
Fellow freshman Adam Grof then reached on a throwing error by the third baseman that scored Loren Fleischman and the Polar Bears were now down just 8-5.
Senior Nick Simoff came in the pitch the ninth for ONU and held Defiance to its only 1-2-3 inning of the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Yellow Jacket's Brad Timofeev was looking was looking for his first save of the season but gave up back-to-back doubles to Aselage and Gibbons to open the inning.
The Polar Bears were now within two at 8-6, but would strand Gibbons and drop their fourth straight game.
Gibbons had a pair of hits and an RBI on the day for Northern.
Jesse had two hits, a double and three runs scored while Wade also had two hits and three runs batted in for Defiance.
The Polar Bears will return to OAC-play this Saturday when they travel to Baldwin-Wallace for a 1 pm double header.