ADRIAN, Mich. – In a battle of second-place teams in the MIAA baseball race, both Adrian and Calvin each split a pair of games on Friday at Nicolay Field. The Bulldogs rallied for an 8-7 extra-inning win in game 1 and the Knights responded with an 8-3 win in game 2.
Calvin jumped ahead 2-0 in the first in game 1 as the Knights scored on a wild pitch and a two-out single by Tyler Lambers. Adrian cut the lead to 2-1 in the third as Anthony Sergi led off with a single up the middle and then stole second. Ben Yax was hit by a pitch and then Cody Meyer singled through the right side on a hit-and-run allowing Yax to advance to third and Sergi to score.
Calvin got the run back in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Kyle Spoelma. The Knights increased their lead to 4-1 in the sixth on an unearned run. Jordan VanderWall singled to right center again with two outs to give Calvin a three-run cushion.
The Bulldogs had a huge four-run sixth to take a 5-4 lead. Three straight singles by Dan Heatherly, Jeff Gertley and Sergi loaded the bases with no outs. Austin Juza entered the game on the mound for Calvin replacing starter Jeff Victor. Yax made it four straight hits with a two-run single through the right side to cut the lead to 4-3. Yax swiped second with pinch hitter Zach Kolvey at the plate and then Kolvey delivered a two-run single to give Adrian their first lead of the game.
Calvin regained the lead 7-5 with three runs in the seventh. Tommy Eng replaced starter Rylie Robinson on the mound and gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning. Mike Fuller had a clutch two-run double to left and Ben Wohl drove home the seventh run of the game for Calvin.
Adrian answered again in the seventh with a pair of runs to send the game into extra innings. An error by Calvin set the table as Jamey Sackett reached the leadoff the inning. Heatherly doubled home Sackett to get the Bulldogs within one. Heatherly took third on a passed ball and with two outs, Yax came through again with a single off the pitcher Jalen Bouma to tie the game.
Lucas Willitzer brought the hammer down in the eighth and ninth innings retiring all six batters he faced and fanning four of them in the process. Heatherly had a one-out single and took second on an error in the ninth and then Gertley looped a single to left to score Heatherly with the game-winning run.
Willitzer improved to 2-1 on the season and Bouma fell to 0-1. Robinson threw six innings and allowed seven hits and three earned runs. Eng allowed three unearned runs in the seventh. Victor went five innings for Calvin and allowed six hits and four earned runs. Heatherly had a hot game going 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Yax had a career-high three RBI's.
Calvin scored twice in the first two innings to take a 4-0 lead in game 2. Brent Greenwood entered the game with a 0.87 ERA this season in 20.2 innings, but exited after just 3.1 innings. He allowed five hits and three earned runs with three walks and a strikeout. Adrian cut the lead to 4-2 in the third as Andrew DeLuca was hit by a pitch with one out and then Sackett drove the ball to left for a double to score DeLuca and took third on the throw to the plate. Heatherly then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Sackett.
The Knights put the game out of reach with a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. Grant VanPutten had a two-run single in the fifth and finished the day going 6-for-9 with three runs and three RBI's. Heatherly smacked his second home run of the season into a stiff breeze over the left field wall on a line to score Adrian's third run. Heatherly went 5-for-8 on the day for the Bulldogs. Grant VanderWall went the distance for Calvin allowing seven hits and three earned runs. He walked three and struck out four in 117 pitches. The two teams will continue the weekend series tomorrow in Grand Rapids with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.