ADRIAN, Mich. – The game of baseball comes down to a few plays and sometimes a few breaks and on Monday afternoon the Bulldogs made the right plays at the right time in a doubleheader sweep of Hope College. Adrian improved to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA with a 5-4 win in 10 innings in game one and a 1-0 win in game two.
The first four-game conference series of the season pitted the top two teams in the preseason poll. Adrian has been the king of the hill winning three straight MIAA titles and in this series winning three out of four games was a great way towards starting on the right foot towards number four.
The 11th-ranked Bulldogs sent freshman Eric Schmidt to the mound in game one while Hope countered with Cory Schmidt. Both guys pitched at least six innings and got a no-decision. Eric went six innings and allowed seven hits. He yielded two earned runs and walked one with one strikeout. Cory went 6.2 innings and also allowed seven hits to go with three earned runs. He also walked four and struck out three.
Adrian and Hope were tied at 3-3 after seven innings and the game went into extra innings. Sophomore Brent Greenwood had a solid effort for the Bulldogs in relief. Greenwood retired the first five guys he faced before allowing a two-out walk in the eighth. Greenwood set down the next four batters heading into the top of the 10th. Kevin Olson led off the inning with a double and then T.J. Klein bunted for a base hit as a throwing error by Mike Herzog allowed Klein to go to second and Olson to score the go-ahead run. Klein moved to third with one out but Greenwood got Jon Ponte to pop out to second base and Chris Blair to strike out.
In the bottom half, Sam Fischer led off by reaching on an error by Chris Mattson. Mitch Stefanski bunted for a base hit and then pinch hitter Clay Paul sacrifice bunted both runners over a base. Pinch hitter Mitch Sroka was then intentionally walked to set up a force at any base. All runners moved up on a wild pitch to tie the score at 4-4. Garrett Green walked to load the bases again and Taylor Milligan entered as a pinch hitter. Milligan bounced a ball to third and Eric Dawson forced Stefanski out at home. Ponte then wheeled to complete the double play at first and overthrew Blair allowing Sroka to score from second with the winning run.
In game two, freshman Austin Buchmayer gave the Flying Dutchmen nothing as Adrian won 1-0. Buchmayer did not allow a hit until the seventh inning and finished with a complete game, two-hitter with no walks and two strikeouts. He improved to 1-0 overall in his first start at Nicolay Field. Phil Haywood for Hope threw six innings and allowed just three hits and one earned run. He walked two and struck out five in a 75-pitch outing.
Adrian scored its run in the bottom of the fifth as Green walked to start the inning. He then stole second and Andrew DeLuca laid down a perfect bunt for a single. Jamey Sackett then bounced into a fielder's choice as Green scored and DeLuca was put out at second. Stefanski had the best day at the plate for Adrian going 3-for-5 with a single, double and triple in game one. He also went 1-for-2 with a walk in game two. Adrian will travel to Heidelberg tomorrow for a nine-inning game at 4:00 p.m.