ADRIAN, Mich. – The Bulldogs continued their play in the MIAA Tournament Thursday afternoon as they met Calvin College in a matchup of the day one winners. The Bulldogs came into the game having knocked off Kalamazoo College in their first game, 17-1, and the Knights took out Hope College, 5-2. The two teams needed extra innings to decide the winner as the Bulldogs prevailed in 10 innings, 8-7. This win advances the Bulldogs record to 29-13.
The Knights jumped out on top of the Bulldogs early as they took a 1-0 lead after one. The Bulldogs then found life with their bats in the third as they would score five runs and take a 5-1 lead. Dan Heatherly reached on an error which scored Sam Fischer and Ryan Dorow. R.J. Rios followed this with a triple down the right field line to score Drew Shutes, Heatherly and Mitch Stefanski. The Knights followed this Bulldog charge by scoring the next six runs of the game. Calvin scored three in the third, two in the fourth and one in the seventh while keeping the Bulldogs with five runs as they took the lead after seven, 7-5. The Bulldogs would once again answer with their bats in the eighth inning as they loaded the bases with two outs. Dorow then came up with a clutch double down the left field line that scored Corleone Desimone and Ian Mikowski to tie the game, 7-7. This tie remained after nine innings as the teams went into extra innings. The tenth inning saw Desimone knock in the go-ahead run as he singled to score Rios and the Bulldogs took the lead for good, 8-7.
Holden Branch made the start on the mound for the Bulldogs as he pitched 6.2 innings, allowed seven runs, and struck out two. Jordan Frayer pitched 0.2 innings, allowed one hit and recorded one strikeout. Tommy Eng (2-3) earned the win as he pitched 2.2 perfect innings and struck out three batters including two with the bases loaded in the eighth.
Dorow went 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored. Rios went 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run scored. Desimone went 1-for-1 with the game-winning RBI and one run scored.
The Bulldogs are now 7-11 on the season in one-run games and 3-4 in extra-inning games. Adrian is now 20-3 when scoring six runs or more and 12-5 against left-handed starters. Adrian will play Calvin in the championship final on Friday at noon with an if necessary game to follow if needed.