WHITEWATER, Wis. - The Adrian College baseball team fell 5-4 in the Midwest Regional final against UW-Whitewater on Saturday afternoon in a matchup of the final two teams standing in the six-team regional. UW-Whitewater (40-7) advances to the Division III World Series with the victory and it was the best showing by Adrian in the NCAA Regionals since 2008 when they advanced to the World Series in Appleton, Wis.
Senior third baseman Mitch Stefanski had a monster game with two home runs and a double while driving in three runs. Senior outfielder Sam Fischer also had a home run in the loss. Freshman shortstop Ryan Dorow had a pair of hits including a double.
Senior Brent Greenwood (6-4) took the loss throwing on just two days rest after a nine-inning outing on Wednesday. He threw 7.1 innings and allowed five hits and four earned runs. He walked two and struck out two before handing the ball off to sophomore Tommy Eng. Eng retired two batters but Michael Gonzalez hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie.
UW-W took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after the first two batters were retired by Greenwood. Mikole Pierce walked and Gonzalez singled to center to put two runners on. Casey Power made it consecutive singles and Pierce scored from second to put the first run on the board. Trey Cannon made it three straight singles up the middle as Gonzalez scored from second for a 2-0 lead.
Stefanski led off the second inning with a home run to right field for his fourth of the season to cut the lead to 2-1. Adrian took the lead in the top of the fourth as Fischer led off with a homer just to the scoreboard in right for an opposite field blast to tie the score at 2-2. Two batters later, Stefanski launched a bomb to right center for his fifth jack of the season and a 3-2 lead. Connor Hurst gave up all three homers and lasted 5.1 innings in a no-decision.
Colin Grove entered the game on the mound for the Warhawks with one out in the sixth after Dorow doubled to start the inning and Fischer hit a fly to center which moved Dorow to third. Grove struck out Dan Heatherly but Stefanski doubled down the right field line for his 10th of the season and a 4-2 advantage.
The Warhawks scored one back in the bottom of the sixth as Pierce singled with one out and stole second. On the steal, Pierce advanced to third on an error as the ball went into center. Gonzalez grounded out to shortstop as Pierce scored to cut the lead to 4-3.
UW-W tied the game with a run in the seventh as Cannon singled and moved to second on a groundout. Adam Gregory singled to right center to tie the game at 4-4 as Cannon scored from second and Gregory took second on a throw to the plate. Adrian got a leadoff single by Dorow in the eighth but Grove retired the next three hitters to preserve the tie.
In the bottom of the eighth, Dylan Friend walked with one out and Pierce followed with a single allowing Friend to go to third. Eng came into the game in a tough spot and got ahead of Gonzalez 0-2 in the count but elevated an off-pitch which Gonzalez hit for the winning sacrifice fly. Adrian could not mount a comeback in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout.