Bulldogs Tie Program Wins Record to Salvage Twinbill in Regular Season Finales at Hope College

Junior Gunner Rainey extends his MIAA-topping batting average to .442 at the end of the 2019 regular season. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Junior Gunner Rainey extends his MIAA-topping batting average to .442 at the end of the 2019 regular season. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

HOLLAND, Mich.--The Adrian College baseball team tied a school record for regular season victories--32--with a 13-9 win to salvage a split of a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association doubleheader at Hope College on Saturday. The host Flying Dutchmen got a walk-off home run in extra innings to prevail 4-3 in Game 1.

THE BASICS
= Final Scorelines: Game 1—Hope College 4-5-1, Adrian College 3-9-0; Game 2—Adrian 13-11-1, Hope 9-10-2

= Location: Location: Boeve Stadium, Holland, Mich.; Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees, Wind W 6 mph

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 32-7 overall (24-4 MIAA); Hope Flying Dutchmen 29-9 overall (19-9 MIAA)

= National Rankings:  Adrian is No. 14 by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (251 points) and No. 11 in the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (309) poll; AC's NCAA Mideast Regional Ranking: No. 6; Hope is No. 29 in the ABCA/CBN poll and "receiving votes" by D3baseball/NCBWA.

TOP 'DAWGS
= Senior Dugan Darnell went 3-for-7 and had five runs batted in on the afternoon.

= Junior Gunner Rainey was 6-for-9 combined, with two runs scored and two RBI.

= Sophomore Thomas Miller totaled 4-for-8, including a double and home run, four runs scored and three RBI in the doubleheader.

= In Game 2, sophomore Jordan Williams (7-1) was credited with the win. He is tied for second in the conference with seven victories.  

THE OPPOSITION
= Ted Eppinga batted 4-for-8, including a pair of homers, with three runs scored and four RBI in the two games.

= Trace Slancik chipped in three hits on the day.

= Jordon Fairchild had a double, game-winning home run, three walks and three RBI during the twinbill.

= CJ Otteman (W, 6-1), who is tied with Darnell for the MIAA saves lead at five, picked up the Game 1 win after five innings of scoreless relief. He struck out six, walked two and gave up two hits. 

HOW IT HAPPENED, Game 1
= Fairchild gave the hosts a walk-off win in extra innings with his MIAA-best 10th home run of the season in the 10th inning.

= After Adrian took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth on a Darnell sacrifice fly to center field, Hope tied it in the bottom half on a Slancik RBI-double to center.

= Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, the Bulldogs tied it on a RBI-single to left field by sophomore Brandon Cooper.

= Hope erased a 1-0 Bulldogs lead with a pair of solo home runs by Brant Kym and Eppinga in the second frame.

= Miller homered over the wall in right-center to put Adrian up 1-0 in the first.

= The Bulldogs outhit the Flying Dutchmen 9-5, but left 13 runners on base.

HOW IT HAPPENED, Game 2
= The Bulldogs scored six times in the sixth inning to take control of the game, 12-4. Rainey had a two-run single to right field and Darnell homered with a man aboard to cap the rally.

= Hope scored five runs over the last two frames to make it interesting, closing to within the final four-run margin. Eppinga hit a two-run blast in the sixth, and Evan Maday and Eppinga sandwiched RBI singles around a Kym RBI-fielder's choice in the seventh.

= In the fifth, Cooper broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run double to center to put the Bulldogs ahead for good. Miller added a RBI-single to center and senior Chad Paddock walked with the bases loaded later in the stanza.

= The teams traded a pair of runs in the fourth to start the scoring. Darnell hit a two-run homer for a 2-0 Bulldogs advantage and Kym hit a RBI-single as Hope plated another run on the same play via an error. 

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Hope leads the all-time series, 97-80, but Adrian is 24-11 over the last 35 meetings.

= The Bulldogs saw their season-tying 10-game winning streak snapped in the opener.

= The 2012 team also recorded 32 wins during the regular season en route to an Adrian all-time best 37-10 mark. 

= Rainey widen his lead in the MIAA batting race with a .442 average and is one behind Thomas for tops in conference RBI, 46 to 47.

= Hope's Jack Sojka moved within one stolen base of teammate Maday, who has 27, for the MIAA lead.

= The Flying Dutchmen have hit 29 home runs and stolen 120 bases this season, both MIAA bests.

= Rainey also moves past Bobby Rickstad (180 from 2005-08) for seventh place on the AC all-time hits list with 183. No. 6 Dan Slagle has 184 from 1997 to 2000. 

UP NEXT
= Adrian will host the MIAA tournament at Nicolay Field from Wednesday to Friday. More details to be announced later.

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