13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
The final regular season four-game series started on a sour note for the Adrian College baseball team as they dropped a pair of one-run games at Calvin College on Friday. The Bulldogs have already wrapped up the regular season title in the MIAA while Calvin is playing to maintain their second place position in the conference. The Knights made plays when it mattered the most with both wins coming in the bottom of the seventh.
Adrian fell 3-2 in game one as they took a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Sam Fischer and Ryan Dorow began with consecutive singles and Drew Shutes walked with one out to load the bases against Cory Laster for Calvin. R.J. Rios bounced into a fielder's choice for a RBI to score Dorow.
Calvin got the run back in the second inning as Kyle Spoelma had a RBI double. The inning saw starter Eric Schmidt have to leave the game due to injury and Brent Greenwood had to take the mound. The Knights left the bases loaded to keep things tied at 1-1.
Adrian took a 2-1 lead in the third inning as Fischer doubled to right and then took third on a throwing error by Laster attempting to pick him off second base. Dorow hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate the go-ahead run. Calvin evened it up again at 2-2 in the fifth inning as Matt Schepel had a RBI on a fielder's choice allowing Travis Kraai to score after he led off with a double.
Adrian advanced a runner to third base in the sixth and seventh after the leadoff man each had a hit. The Bulldogs could not execute however and the game remained tied going into the bottom of the seventh. Kraai had an infield single and Grant Van Putten laid down a bunt that was thrown high by Mitch Stefanski trying for the force at second. Ben Wohl bunted for a single to load the sacks with no outs and then Tommy Eng entered the game on the mound. He got Schepel to strikeout looking for the first out but then Peter Cupery singled to right center to end the game.
Greenwood (4-3) took the loss going 4.1 innings of relief and allowing one earned run with five strikeouts. Laster (6-2) went seven innings for Calvin allowing two earned runs with three strikeouts. Fischer went 3-for-4 with his 14th double of the season. Shutes and Dan Heatherly also had a double in three at-bats for the Bulldogs.
Calvin won 6-5 in game two as Schepel delivered the game's big hit with a grand slam in the bottom of the third to take his team to a 4-0 lead through three innings. Rylie Robinson took a no-decision going the first four innings. The Bulldogs battled back to take the lead with three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Heatherly walked to lead off the fifth and Rios singled up the middle. Eng walked to load the bases with no outs and then with one down it was Corleone Desimone in the nine-hole with a RBI single to make it 4-1. Fischer followed with a two-RBI single up the middle to make it 4-3. Josh Richardson entered the game in the bottom of the fifth and allowed just one base runner in his two innings of work in his first appearance of the season.
Adrian took the lead in the sixth as Shutes reached on an error and Heatherly singled to shortstop. Calvin starter Nate Schepers left the game and Ben Guilfoyle took the mound. Rios grounded out to pitcher as both runners moved up a base. Eng tied the game with an RBI single and Adrian loaded the bases with two outs. Fischer drew a walk for the go-ahead run and Adrian again took a lead into the bottom of the seventh. Eng came on to replace Richardson and Van Putten doubled down the right field line followed by a RBI single to right by Wohl to tie it at 5-5. Wohl then stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Schepel was walked intentionally and then moved to second on a groundout. Jalen Bouma also was walked intentionally to load the bases and set up a force at home. Colt Wolfe struck out swinging for the second out but Jordan VanderWall delivered with two outs on the first pitch with a single through the right side of the infield.
Fischer concluded a solid day with three RBI in game two but no Bulldog had more than one hit in the nightcap. Calvin (25-13, 17-9 MIAA) will travel to Adrian tomorrow at 1 p.m. to conclude the regular season with a doubleheader. It will be Senior Day for the Bulldogs as 11 players will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony.