ADRIAN, Mich. – The baseball team captured a pair of wins to begin their Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association season on Friday afternoon against visiting Albion College. The Bulldogs got a complete game shutout effort in game one by junior Eric Schmidt in a 6-0 win and then turned around and slugged out 12 hits in a 7-4 win in game two. Adrian improved to 7-4 overall while Albion now sits at 4-8 overall.
Schmidt stranded six runners on base in game one and limited the Britons to four hits with no extra-base hits. He improved to 3-0 this season with one walk and five strikeouts on the day. Schmidt needed just 78 pitches (50 strikes) in the victory and lowered his earned run average in 2014 to 1.71. Craig Conway was in a pitcher's duel with Schmidt heading into the bottom of the fifth as Adrian led 1-0. The Bulldogs scored in the third on an infield single by Drew Shutes which plated an unearned run. Ian Mikowski had a brilliant bunt single and would later come around to score on the Shutes RBI knock.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 3-0 in the fifth as senior Sam Fischer launched his second home run of the season – a two-run shot over the left field wall – scoring Ben Yax who reached on a leadoff single. Schmidt got out on a second and third jam in the sixth with a line-out to center and then the Bulldogs put it away with three runs in the sixth. Dan Heatherly led off with a double and Mitch Stefanski singled him home for the fourth run. Stefanski scored on a throwing error for the fifth run off the bat of Yax. Mikowski singled to left for a RBI as Yax scored from second. Heatherly and Mikowski each had a pair of hits in the eight-hit attack in game one.
Adrian jumped on Albion starter Dylan Woolley in the first two innings of game two with three runs. Fischer led off the first with a single and Ryan Dorow followed with a double off the wall in left to give Adrian a 1-0 lead. Albion answered with two runs off Rylie Robinson to take a 2-1 lead in the second. The Bulldogs regained the lead at 3-2 in the bottom of the second as Corleone Desimone tied the score at 2-2 on a two-out double. Fischer then followed with a line drive double to left center giving the Bulldogs a one-run advantage.
Albion tied the game at 3-3 in the third and took over the lead at 4-3 with a run in the fourth. The back-and-forth continued in the bottom of the fourth as Adrian took a 5-4 lead. Albion could have ended the inning without a run allowed but failed to turn a double play as the relay throw from second base went wild allowing a run to score. Dorow had a single to left and the ball was misplayed allowing Fischer to score the winning run.
Robinson was lifted in the top of the fifth and Greg Sombati threw a scoreless inning in relief. The Britons put two runners on base in the sixth as Sombati was replaced by Tommy Eng with two outs. Eng got a flyout to left on the first pitch he threw to keep a one-run lead for the Bulldogs. Adrian scored twice in the sixth to build a cushion. Desimone collected his third hit of the game and drove home Yax and then Albion again could not turn two and an overthrow allowed the seventh run to cross home plate.
Eng began the seventh by striking out the first two guys looking, but then a single and fielding error allowed the tying run to come to the dish. Eng picked up his first save when a groundout to third ended the contest. Desimone did his damage in the ninth spot going 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. R.J. Rios finished 2-for-3 with his third double of the season. Robinson got the win (2-0) but allowed nine hits in four innings with four earned runs. The two teams will play again at Nicolay Field on Saturday. The Britons will be the home team in both contests with the first pitch of the doubleheader set for 1 p.m.