No. 26 Bulldogs Crush No. 13/21 Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Opening Day Baseball, 15-2

Junior RHP Pierce Banks improved to 16-3 lifetime after 26th-ranked Adrian's 9-2 upset of No. 13/21 Wisconsin-Oshkosh to open the 2019 season in Alabama. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Junior RHP Pierce Banks improved to 16-3 lifetime after 26th-ranked Adrian's 9-2 upset of No. 13/21 Wisconsin-Oshkosh to open the 2019 season in Alabama. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--In a battle of nationally-ranked baseball programs, Adrian College won its season opener on Saturday with a convincing 15-2 victory behind 19 hits over Wisconsin-Oshkosh on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College. Adrian then fell to the host BSC Panthers, 9-2, to complete its split, day-night doubleheader.

THE BASICS
= Final Scorelines: Adrian College 15-19-1, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh 2-6-1; Birmingham-Southern 9-11-2, Adrian 2-7-2

= Location: Striplin Field, Birmingham, Ala.; Weather Conditions: Cloudy, 54 degrees, Wind NW 4 mph

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs, 1-1 overall; UW-Oshkosh Titans 0-3; Birmingham-Southern Panthers, 8-4

= National Rankings: Adrian is No. 26 by American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (215 points) and "receiving votes" in D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (40 points) poll; UW-Oshkosh is 13th in the ABCA/CBN (249 points) and 21st in the D3baseball/NCBWA (135) national rankings; BSC is in the "also receiving votes" category of the ABCA/CBN Top-40.

TOP 'DAWGS
= In the 13-run win, junior pitcher Pierce Banks tossed a six-hitter, scattered four walks and struck out six batters for the victory. He threw 65 strikes among 108 total pitches in six innings.

= Senior Korey Mazur set career highs with four hits, three runs scored and three runs batted in to lead the Bulldogs' 19-hit attack.

= Junior Gunner Rainey rapped two doubles among three hits with two RBI and senior Zack Zschering had two hits with a RBI.

= Junior Brady Wood and sophomore Thomas Miller led Adrian in the second game with two hits each versus the Panthers.

= The Adrian bullpen of junior Brandon Schulze (1K, 0.2 IP), junior Spencer Ford (1K, 1.1 IP), senior Jesse Marks (1K, 2.0 IP) and freshman Maxwell Denny (2K, 1.0 IP) did not allow an earned run to BSC.

FOR THE OPPOSITION
= Zack Radde and Jensen Hinton had two hits apiece for UW-Oshkosh.

= Hunter Staniske hit a double for the UWO Titans.

= For BSC, Tyler Wise went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.

= Preston Munns also had three RBI and two hits--including a double--for the Panthers.

= Andy Hammond (1-2) got the win for BSC, allowing an unearned run, six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings of work.

HOW IT HAPPENED VS UW-OSHKOSH
= Adrian got on the scoreboard quickly with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Rainey had a RBI-double to right-center field to plate Zschering and he would later come around to score on a wild pitch.

= The Titans answered back with a run of their own in the bottom half when Radde singled up the middle for a RBI.

= UWO could have scored more, but Banks struck out Sean Cummins and Eric Modaff, both swinging, with the bases loaded to preserve the one-run lead, 2-1.

= The Bulldogs scored three times in the fourth to build a 6-1 advantage. Banks got out of another big bases-loaded jam after giving up a run as he fanned two Titans swinging again to squish the threat.

= Senior Dugan Darnell hit AC's first home run of 2019 with a solo shot over the fence in left-center field, giving the Bulldogs a 7-2 lead in the fifth.

= Adrian scored in every inning except for the second and fourth, and broke the game wide open with a four-spot in the seventh to go up 11-2 at the time.

= The Titans left 10 runners on bases--twice with them loaded and less than two outs.

= The Bulldogs had seven extra-base hits, including six doubles.

HOW IT HAPPENED VS BIRMINGHAM SOUTHERN
= The Panthers led 1-0 after two innings before breaking it open with four runs in each of the third and fourth frames to take a commanding 9-1 cushion.

= Will Toner singled up the middle to bring home Munns for a 1-0 lead. 

= Wise's RBI-single through the left side in the bottom of the third proved to be the difference in the game, giving BSC a 3-0 advantage at the time.

= Adrian got on the scoreboard in the fourth by taking advantge of a throwing error as Wood scored the unearned run after leading off with a double.

= Miller, who is a NCAA Division I transfer from Oakland University, got his first RBI as a Bulldog with a single to left in the ninth to account for Adrian's final run.

= The Panthers outhit the Bulldogs 11 to 7. Adrian had 11 runners left on base.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= The 19 hits versus UW-Oshkosh are the most by an Adrian team since April 22 of last season when the 'Dogs had 22 in an 11-4 win at Albion.

= Banks improves to 16-3 in his career, moving into a three-way tie for 12th place on the school's all-time victories list with  Jason Fryman (16-4 from 2009-12) and David Partyka (16-3 from 2009-11).

= The UWO Titans fell one game short of going to the 2018 NCAA Division III World Series for the first time since 2003 as their regional runner-up.

= The only meeting between the Bulldogs and Titans prior to today occurred on March 3, 2017, with an 8-4 UWO win here in Birmingham.

= BSC are tied takes a slim 6-5 lead in the all-time series with Adrian.

= Adrian is now 12-14 in season openers under 26-year head coach Craig Rainey '89.

= Adrian's 15 runs against the Titans are the most on Opening Day since 2004 (20-13 win vs Emmanuel College) and 13-run margin of victory is believed to be the largest to start the season in program history.

UP NEXT
= Adrian stays in the South during its first spring break trip of the year playing at No. 25 Piedmont College (8-2) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Demorest, Ga.

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