PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Nothing like an extra-inning game right off the bat for the Adrian College baseball team in Monday's season opener against a talented Moravian squad. The Bulldogs looked to have control of the game with a 7-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth, but Moravian kept chipping into the lead and sent the game into the 10th inning. The Greyhounds sent pinch hitter Anthony Gaetaniello to the plate with two outs and he delivered home the winning run in a 9-8 final.
Moravian was playing their sixth game of the season and that early experience showed as Adrian was unable to hold their lead. Moravian took an early 3-1 lead after two innings and then the Bulldogs scored once in the fourth and five more times in the fifth inning to chase starting pitcher Thomas Mariano of the Greyhounds. Mariano loaded the bases with no outs and Hunter Guard entered the face Mitch Stefanski. The senior DH delivered a two-run single scoring Sam Fischer and Jeff Gertley. Later in the frame, Ben Yax had a sacrifice fly and Corleone Desimone had an RBI single to increase the lead. A big moment that would later prove costly was the Bulldogs leaving the bases loaded to end the inning on a flyout by Gertley. In total the Bulldogs left 14 runners on base in the contest.
Moravian chased starting pitcher Eric Schmidt in the sixth inning after scoring twice to trim the lead to 7-6. Schmidt went 5.2 innings and allowed nine hits and six runs (four earned). He walked four and struck out six before handing the ball to Austin Buchmayer. Buchmayer had not pitched in a game since April 14, 2012 as a freshman when he went four innings in a 10-3 win over Calvin in game two of a doubleheader. Buchmayer missed all of 2013 due to injury and returned to go 1.1 innings allowing no hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Brett Wagner picked up the win in relief for Moravian throwing the final 5.1 innings for the Greyhounds who improved to 5-1 with the win. Wagner allowed five hits but just one run with three walks and four punchouts. The Bulldogs took an 8-7 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning but could not close it out. Pinch hitter Clay Paul was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Greg Sombati made his debut for the Bulldogs on the mound and started the ninth by allowing a leadoff single to Joey DiSarno. Gaetaniello pinch ran and then Justin Pilchman drew a walk ending the night for Sombati who recorded one out. Tommy Eng inherited a jam and Moravian bunted both runners into scoring position on the next at-bat. Alex Longernecker had an RBI groundout to third scoring Gaetaniello with the tying run. The Greyhounds would leave two runners on base to send the game into extra innings.
Adrian had one base runner in the 10th but he was cut down trying to steal second and reached on an error. Matt Hanson led off the bottom of the 10th with a double and then Eng recorded back-to-back outs. Hanson advanced to third on the second out and then Gaetaniello drove home the winning run on an infield hit. Senior Dan Heatherly went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI for the Bulldogs hitting in the three-hole. Fischer reached base five times in the leadoff spot going 1-for-2 with four walks and two runs scored. The Bulldogs will get right back at it on Tuesday with a noon first pitch scheduled with John Carroll. The Lobos are 2-4 this season.