WHITEWATER, Wis. - The battle of unbeatens in the Midwest Regional went to the host Warhawks on Friday afternoon as the Bulldogs dropped a 6-2 decision to UW-Whitewater. The Bulldogs took two early leads at 1-0 and 2-1 only to see the Warhawks tie the game in the bottom half of the second and third innings. UW-Whitewater then took over with four straight runs including a run in the sixth and seventh and two more clutch runs in the eighth.
Rylie Robinson (7-2) got the start for Adrian (32-14) and fought his control throughout six innings but did keep his team in the game. He finished with four hits, four earned runs, four walks and four strikeouts. He also hit two batters and uncorked four wild pitches. Tommy Eng relieved Robinson after a leadoff walk in the seventh and went two innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and striking out three Warhawks.
Curtis Morgan (6-1) got the win for UW-Whitewater throwing seven innings and allowing six hits. He gave up two earned runs and walked three with three strikeouts. Colin Grove and Austin Jones came out of the bullpen and gave up no runs but Jones ran into a pickle in the top of the ninth as Adrian loaded the bases with two outs. Drew Shutes lined out to center to end the threat and game. Adrian left eight runners on base and made some uncharacteristic mistakes during the game which changed the complexity of a few innings.
Adrian threatened in the first inning with back-to-back singles by Shutes and Ryan Dorow but they could not score leaving runners on second and third. Jeff Gertley continued his hot regional by doubling to right with one out in the second. Corleone Desimone had a two-out RBI single to score Gertley but was thrown out at second after the original throw went to the plate.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the third as Dorow singled with one out and Sam Fischer doubled to the left center gap. Dorow scored from first but Fischer rounded second aggressively and slipped allowing for him to be thrown out trying to get back to the bag. Adrian had a chance to potentially break a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth as Mitch Stefanski walked with one out and advanced to second on a groundout to third. Stefanski was then picked off second to end the inning.
UW-Whitewater used that momentum to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Trey Cannon singled with two outs and took second on a wild pitch. Mike Mierow singled softly to left and Cannon scored to give UW-Whitewater a 3-2 advantage. Adrian put the tying run at third in the top of the seventh as R.J. Rios walked to leadoff the inning and stole second. After a pair of outs, Desimone grounded out to shortstop with Rios standing on third.
Mikole Pierce had a big two-out RBI single up the middle in the seventh for the Warhawks and pinch hitter Jared Fon hit the first pitch he saw through the right side for a two-run single in the eighth for big insurance runs. Adrian loaded the bases in the ninth after Dan Heatherly doubled down the left field line and then pinch hitter Zach Kolvey hit a single to center to put runners on the corners with two outs. Desimone walked on a 3-1 pitch and then Shutes lined out to center with the tying run at the dish.
Adrian will now play the winner of CU-Chicago/St. Norbert at 6 p.m. central for a chance with a rematch against the Warhawks. UW-Whitewater is now one win away from their sixth NCAA Division III World Series appearance.