HOLLAND, Mich. - The intensity built into the 10th inning on Friday in the championship game of the MIAA Tournament. The Bulldog baseball team has facing elimination and a senior needed to step up. That person was Anthony Sergi who had a RBI single to center with one out scoring Jamey Sackett with the winning run.
The 3-2 win over rival Trine at Boeve Stadium on the campus of Hope College gave the Bulldogs an automatic berth in the upcoming NCAA Tournament and extended the streak of consecutive NCAA appearances to six for Adrian. Sophomore Eric Schmidt threw the game of the season for Adrian going a career-high 9.1 innings and tying a career-high with six strikeouts. Schmidt gave up single runs in the second and third but shut out the Thunder bats over his final 6.1 innings. Schmidt hit Carter Stafford with a pitch with one out in the bottom of the 10th and was replaced by closer Lucas Willitzer after a bunt single by Adam Sullivan put runners on first and second. The senior picked up his fifth save of the season by getting the final two outs on a flyball to center by Tom Wilder and a groundout by Jordan Baer.
"Nine-inning ballgames are just a whole different ball game from seven-inning games," said Schmidt. "I know we're just going to have to keep battling. I knew we would get a couple of runs eventually. No one is going to shut us out. I knew I had to keep locating as well as I could. I knew they would get to them eventually. I think we just became more of a team throughout the season. Guys had to learn what their roles were. We just keep working together, never gave up, never lost confidence in each other."
Sackett finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs scored and R.J. Rios also went 3-for-5. Dan Heatherly collected two hits in four at-bats and also walked. The Bulldogs were forced into the "if necessary" game after Trine won 6-2 earlier in the day.