13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
The Adrian College baseball team took three of four games this weekend against Trine as the Thunder earned a split on Saturday. The Thunder scored a 3-2 win in eight innings in game one while Adrian responded with a 9-0 win in game two. The Bulldogs improved to 23-8 overall and 17-3 in the MIAA. With eight regular season games remaining in the MIAA, the Bulldogs have a four-game lead in the loss column over Calvin. The Knights are 11-7 in the league and will play Monday, April 21 against Alma on the road beginning at 2 p.m. in a doubleheader. Adrian will finish the season with four games against third place Kalamazoo (11-9) and then Calvin to wrap up the regular season race.
The Thunder took a 1-0 lead in the first inning in game one as Jordan Baer was thrown out attempting to steal second while Adam Sullivan came home to score. Adrian tied the game in the second inning as R.J. Rios reached on an error and Dan Heatherly doubled him to third with one out. Tommy Eng loaded the bases with an infield single and Zach Kolvey had a RBI groundout.
The Thunder took a 2-1 lead in the third as Jeff Phillips singled and stole second with one out. Phillips took third on a flyout by Baer and Luke Porter had a two-out RBI single. Brent Greenwood and Ed Tomich locked up in a pitcher's duel before the Bulldogs tied the game in the fifth. Kolvey singled to leadoff and Ian Mikowski pinch ran at first. Ben Yax bunted him over to second and then Sam Fischer doubled him home.
The Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to break the tie in the sixth as they loaded the bases but Yax grounded out to end the threat. Adrian also loaded the sacks in the seventh but Heatherly struck out against Porter who entered the mound from right field after one out in the inning. The Thunder got the winning run in the eighth as they loaded the bases with two outs after an intentional walk by Ethan Prebynski. The move did not pay off as Andrew DeGood singled through the right side scoring Phillips with the third and final run. Greenwood tossed 7.2 innings and allowed 10 hits and three earned runs with a walk and five strikeouts. Tomich limited the Bulldogs to two runs in 6.1 innings with a walk and five strikeouts. Porter got the win (3-1) allowing no hits in 1.2 innings. Eng, Heatherly and Fischer each had two hits for Adrian who stranded 10 runners on base in game one.
In the nightcap, Holden Branch put any chances of a home sweep to rest with a complete game, four-hit shutout to improve to 5-0 this season. He walked one and struck out two while recording 11 fly-ball outs including nine by Fischer to set a career-high for the senior center fielder.
Andy Farrell (1-3) was responsible for the loss in the 9-0 contest in game two as he went four innings and allowed nine hits and seven earned runs. Adrian quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. They also added two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Fischer finished a fabulous series by going 4-for-4 with three runs, two RBI and a career-high three doubles. He batted .750 (12-of-16) in four starts against the Thunder with six runs, six doubles and five RBI. He also went 3-for-3 on the basepaths and recorded 15 putouts without an error.
Ryan Dorow went 2-for-4 with a run, sacrifice fly and two RBI. Mitch Stefanski went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples, two runs and three RBI. Drew Shutes also had a RBI as did Rios. Rios also stole two bases in game two. Adrian hit .381 for the series and posted a 1.57 earned run average. Dorow recorded seven RBI and batted .467 (7-for-15) with three doubles. Stefanski had four triples and five RBI in the series. Adrian will next play Siena Heights on Monday, April 21 in a rescheduled nine-inning game at Nicolay Field set for 6 p.m.