DEMOREST, Ga. - The Adrian College baseball team ended the 2011 season with four straight losses, but they could not have asked for a better start to the 2012 season improving to 3-0 after an 8-3 win over #15 Piedmont College on their home turf on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Piedmont entered play 7-0 overall, but Adrian found a way to score off miscues early and manufacture runs late. The Bulldogs threw Rylie Robinson at the Lions and the sophomore from Clinton, Mich. did not blink an eye. In his fourth career start, he looked like a veteran going seven innings and allowing four hits and two earned runs. He walked just one and struck out four.
Adrian jumped ahead 3-0 in the top of the third thanks to two costly Lion errors. Cody Meyer singled to start the inning and then took second on a passed ball. Mitch Stefanski reached on an error by Tim Nunez putting runners on the corners with no outs. Kyle Strawn then reached on an error by Ethan Miers which should have been the second out of the inning. Meyer scored and Stefanski moved to second. Michael Herzog bunted both runners over a base and then moved another bag after a passed ball which plated Stefanski. Garrett Green had an RBI groundout scoring Strawn.
Piedmont answered with a run in the bottom half of the third and the game was a stalemate until the top of the eighth. Adrian scored three more times to take a 6-1 lead. Seth Schutter surrendered all three earned runs without allowing an extra base hit. Adrian collected four hits in the inning as Sam Fischer had an RBI single and Stefanski delivered a two-run single.
The Lions trimmed the lead to 6-3 with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Robinson walked the leadoff man and then Lucas Willitzer entered on the mound. Curtis Cornett had an RBI groundout and Garrett Lovelace had a run-scoring single for Piedmont, but also left a man on base. Piedmont left six runners on base while Adrian stranded 12 for the contest.
Adrian put things away with two runs in the top of the ninth against reliever Taylor Sketch. Sketch was roughed up for both earned runs and walked two Bulldogs. Andrew DeLuca had a sacrifice fly and Garrett Green scored on a delayed steal of home after R.J. Rios swiped second. Willitzer struck out a pair in the bottom of the ninth and Jamey Sackett gunned down a runner attempting to steal second to end the contest.
Adrian pounded out 10 hits against five Piedmont hurlers. Meyer went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. DeLuca also went 2-for-5 and Fischer ended 2-for-4 in the nine-hole for the Bulldogs.