TIFFIN, Ohio – With both pitching units running thin after a busy couple of days, the Tuesday matinee for the Adrian College baseball team turned into a shootout with the result being a 13-12 loss at Heidelberg. Adrian just concluded a tough four-game set against Hope including yesterday's doubleheader sweep. The Bulldogs dropped five spots in the national D3baseball.com poll to 16th heading into today's non-conference rivalry with the Student Princes.
Adrian looked to be in control early with four runs in the top of the first. The first five batters reached base for Adrian (10-4) as Mitch Stefanski had an RBI single followed by a bases loaded walk to Zach Kolvey. Garrett Green had an RBI fielder's choice for the first out and then Michael Herzog lifted a sacrifice fly to right for the fourth run of the inning.
Adrian starter Holden Branch allowed one run in the first and no runs in the second as the Bulldogs led 5-1. Adrian increased their lead to 7-1 with two runs in the top of the third. Adrian scored both runs after the first two batters were retired. Herzog, Ben Yax and Andrew DeLuca drew walks to load the bases and Sam Fischer singled home Herzog followed by a bases loaded walk to Clay Paul.
The third inning was the turning point for the home team who piled on nine runs against the Bulldogs. Branch gave up a walk, hit by pitch, single and a home run to start the inning as Heidelberg cut the lead to 7-5. After another single, Branch was pulled for Mike Osterman. He did not fare much better giving up two singles, a walk and a grand slam to Eric Monroe. Josh Burd then entered the game and got three straight outs as Heidelberg led 10-7.
Adrian trimmed the lead to 10-9 after a two-run fourth. R.J. Rios walked followed by a Kolvey single. Green was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. All three guys moved up a base on a wild pitch and Herzog recorded his second sacrifice fly to get Adrian within a run. Heidelberg increased the lead to 12-9 with two runs in their half of the fourth. Trevor Oldham had a two-run double and then Lucas Willitzer entered for Adrian on the hill. He got two guys out the end any further damage.
The Bulldogs once again got within a run at 12-11 with two more runs in the fifth marking five straight innings with at least a run to start the game. Stefanski tripled for an RBI after a Paul single and then Rios hit a sacrifice fly. Both teams were held scoreless until the ninth as Adrian tied the game at 12-12. Kyle Strawn pinch hit and was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the ninth. DeLuca moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Fischer struck out and with two outs, Ryan Sigler had a clutch RBI single to tie the game.
Heidelberg (11-8) faced Craig Steadman who entered to start the bottom of the eighth and Monroe singled with one out as Adrian went to Sean Hartman out of the bullpen. Hartman gave up a game-winning triple to backup catcher Alex Grove. Adrian finished with 10 hits while Heidelberg racked up 16 hits. All 25 runs were earned as there were no errors in the contest.
Willitzer was the most efficient pitcher for Adrian with 3.2 innings of work allowing one hit with two walks and a strikeout. Daniel Brannum got the win for Heidelberg improving to 3-0. He went the last two innings giving up two hits with three strikeouts. Steadman took the loss falling to 0-1 with 1.1 innings and one earned run with a strikeout.
Monroe's four RBI led the Student Princes. Steven Kisan led his team with three hits in five at-bats. Adrian was paced by Paul's 3-for-4 day with two runs and two RBI. Stefanski went 2-for-5 with a walk. He also recorded his fourth triple of the season. Kolvey was 2-for-4 with a walk, run and RBI.