13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
The players come and the players go but the Adrian College baseball team has truly established a dynasty by winning their sixth straight Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship with a sweep at Kalamazoo College on Sunday. The Bulldogs claimed a 4-1 win in game one and then finished the job with a 10-3 win in game two.
One of the biggest surprises of this season has been the play of freshman shortstop Ryan Dorow. He took over the shortstop spot early in the season and has simply put himself into position for all-conference honors. He had a huge day for the Bulldogs going 2-for-3 with a double and home run in game one. For an encore in game two, Dorow simply hit two more home runs including a grand slam in the seventh inning which broke the game open. He had a .438 batting average (7-for-16) against the Hornets during the series with four runs, seven RBI and a 1.063 slugging percentage.
On the mound the Bulldogs have steady built a top-notch rotation and one of the more consistent arms took the ball in game one. Senior Brent Greenwood improved to 4-2 overall this season and allowed five hits with one earned run, no walks and four strikeouts. Aaron Schwark took his first loss of the season (4-1) going five innings and allowing six hits and two earned runs.
Adrian scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to build enough of a lead for Greenwood. Kalamazoo scored a run in the sixth inning but Adrian got one more insurance run in the seventh. Seven of the nine hitters for Adrian had a hit in game one. Zach Kolvey had his second double of the year and two RBI. Mitch Stefanski also had his ninth triple of the year and increased his school career record to 18.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in game two with two runs in the first. Dorow homered to left with one out and Stefanski reached on an error. Stefanski stole second with two outs and Drew Shutes drove a RBI single to left to score Stefanski for a 2-0 lead. Adrian added a run in the second as Hayden Craig walked with one out and was sacrificed to second by Ben Yax. Sam Fischer reached on an error in left and Craig scored the third run.
The Hornets cut the lead to 3-1in the bottom of the fourth. Mitchell VanKoevering singled to short with one out and then stole second with two outs. Carter Chandler hit a RBI triple to right center to score VanKoevering. Adrian added to their lead with a run in the fifth and sixth innings to go ahead 5-1. The Hornets cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth. Marc Zughaib singled up the middle with one out and then pinch hitter Jack Flynn drew a walk with two outs. Chandler again came through with a two-run double down the right field line.
Adrian wrapped up another conference regular season title with a five-run seventh. R.J. Rios singled to start the frame and Craig walked after a sacrifice bunt. Matt Andrus pinch hit and was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brent Yelton entered the game for Kalamazoo after getting a save in game two yesterday. He walked Fischer to push across a run and then Dorow hit the second grand slam of the year for the Bulldogs over the left field wall. It was his fifth long ball of the season and moved his season RBI total to 30.
Holden Branch got the win (6-0) going six complete innings and handed the ball over to Greg Sombati in the seventh with a seven-run lead. Sombati gave up a one-out double but stranded the runner on third to induce the dogpile on the mound. Fischer had a pair of RBI and scored a run in game two. Shutes went 2-for-3 with his 11th double of the year. Stefanski went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Dorow had a career-high five RBI and it was his seventh multi-RBI game of the season. Adrian posted a 2.79 earned run average in the Kalamazoo series and held the Hornets to a .235 batting average. Craig had a solid series with an .875 on-base percentage including four walks and two hits.