MOLINE, Ill. – The first game of the 2013 NCAA Division III Central Regional for the Adrian College baseball team (32-13) was another heart-stopper as the Bulldogs claimed a 5-4 win over Wartburg (32-10) in 12 innings from Swanson Stadium on the campus of Augustana College.
Adrian led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh before the Knights scored once in the seventh and then three more in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Wartburg got a leadoff man on base in the ninth and moved him to third with one out but senior Lucas Willitzer struck out the next two batters to force extra innings.
Adrian had a runner in scoring position in the 10th and could not score and Wartburg did not threaten in the 10th or 11th and the Bulldogs capitalized in the 12th. Jamey Sackett was on first with two outs after a fielder's choice and took second on a wild pitch. Taylor Milligan drew a walk and then Sam Fischer delivered a game-winning RBI single through the left side to score Sackett. Levi Montague singled down the left field line with one out in the bottom of the 12th but Willitzer got a fly out and strike out looking to end the game.
Willitzer went a career-high four innings and allowed two hits with a walk and three strikeouts to improve to 3-1 on the season. Rylie Robinson took the mound and went seven innings allowing three earned runs with no walks and three strikeouts. Eric Schmidt threw in the eighth and allowed two hits and one earned run. Scott Benson threw 149 pitches for Wartburg and received no-decision going 10 innings with two earned runs and nine strikeouts. Michael Schinstock took the loss after playing the first 10 innings in right field. He gave up one hit in two innings and struck out two.
Fischer ended the game 3-for-6 with a double. Adrian had four doubles out of their eight hits. Anthony Sergi had a RBI single in the sixth. R.J. Rios had a RBI groundout in the second after Mitch Stefanski led off with a double. Garrett Green had a RBI double scoring Rios in the fifth. Adrian left nine runners on base while Wartburg stranded 12 including six in the last five innings.
Adrian improved to 14-15 all time in NCAA Tournament action and will play No. 4 seed Concordia-Chicago (37-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m. local central time after the Cougars defeated No. 3 seed Augustana, 2-0, on Wednesday.