Yellow Jackets Escape Furious Bulldogs Rally with 8-7 Walk-Off Victory

Senior Jason Croci connects on a hit. (Action photo Special to AdrianBulldogs.com)
Senior Jason Croci connects on a hit. (Action photo Special to AdrianBulldogs.com)

BEREA, Ohio--Reese Albright hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded and one out to bring Kyle Pennington from third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Baldwin Wallace to an 8-7 walk-off non-conference victory on Tuesday, after visiting Adrian had erased a 6-0 deficit.

THE BASICS
= Final Scoreline: Baldwin Wallace University 8-11-1, Adrian Bulldogs 7-7-1

= Location: Fisher Field, Berea, Ohio; Weather: Sunny and chilly

= Records: Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets 10-6 overall (1-1 OAC); Adrian Bulldogs 11-3 overall (4-0 MIAA)

= National Rankings: Adrian is No. 8 by American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (332 points) and No. 15 by the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (228) poll.

TOP 'DAWGS
= Sophomore Brandon Cooper, the reigning Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week, led Adrian offensively by going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.

= Junior Gunner Rainey also had two hits--including a double--with a RBI.

= Freshman Andrew Giorno, Adrian's first reliever on the day, gave the AC offense a chance to get back into the game. He shut down the BW offense for 4-2/3 innings on four hits and a run with three strikeouts.

= Junior Spencer Ford followed with two scoreless innings in which he didn't allow a hit.   

THE OPPOSITION
= Sam Sustersic went 3-for-4, including a pair of doubles, with three RBI and a run scored.

= Kyle Pennington and Albright chipped in two hits apiece.

= Garrett Miller (W, 1-0) got the win in relief. He allowed two runs, two hits and had a strikeout in two innings of work.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= BW loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on a single, walk and intentional walk to set the stage for Albright's game-winning RBI on a fielder's choice to the infield.

= Adrian came all the way back from a 6-0 deficit after the first inning to tie it 7-7 with two runs in the top of the eighth. Senior Jordan Torrento had a RBI double down the right-field line and sophomore Thomas Miller had a RBI-groundout.

= Trailing 7-3 in the seventh, Adrian got back into the contest with a pair of runs as Torrento scored on a wild pitch and Rainey had a RBI-groundout.

= Susteric hit a RBI-double to right-center to give the Yellow Jackets a four-run lead, 7-3, in the fifth.

= Adrian began to chip away at the six-run deficit in the second when Cooper hit a two-run single to right-center to get the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. In the next frame, Miller had a RBI-single up the middle to cut the gap in half, 6-3.

= BW touched freshman Kyle Goldberg who was making his first career start for six runs on six hits and a walk in 1/3 of an inning. Jacob Bonner, Susteric and Luke Razzante all had two-RBI hits to stake the host team to a quick lead. 

= Adrian left nine runners on base during the afternoon, including with them loaded in the seventh when AC already had two runs in--without the benefit of a hit--to trail 7-5. But Spencer Berg survived two wild pitches and three walks in the frame to strike out junior Tristin Richardson and end the threat.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= The Yellow Jackets take a 3-1 lead in the all-time series.

= Cooper leads Adrian with a .449 batting average, which is third in the MIAA.

= Rainey tops the conference with 22 RBI--five more than second place.

= The Bulldogs are ranked in the top-10 nationally for the first time in six years.

= On the season, the Adrian bullpen has 51 strikeouts in 51 innings and a 1.74 earned-run average.

UP NEXT
= Adrian steps back into MIAA action this weekend with a four-game set against archrival Kalamazoo College, first in Adrian at Nicolay Field on Friday before shifting to Kalamazoo on Saturday. Both doubleheaders start at 1 p.m. each day.

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