ADRIAN, Mich. - The Adrian College baseball program built another brick in the foundation on Friday afternoon with a 11-4 win over Calvin College in the championship game of the 2015 MIAA Tournament. The Bulldogs (33-10) have now won all four tournament titles since the inception in 2012. In addition, Adrian will be the MIAA representative in the upcoming NCAA Division III regional which take place next week. The Bulldogs will be making their eighth straight appearance in the NCAA's.
The Knights won a pair of games yesterday over Kalamazoo and Hope to get into the final. Adrian jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning off Calvin starter Mike Wieringa. Drew Shutes connected on a one-out single to center and swiped second. Ryan Dorow reached on a fielding error and Shutes moved up to third. Jeff Gertley plated the first run on a RBI groundout to second and then Miccoy Drzewiecki singled home Dorow on a single to center.
Calvin came back with four runs in the top of the second. The rally started after the first two batters recorded an out. Jeff Murdock singled to left and Ben Wohl followed with a sharp single to right. Austin Voigt then hit a pop-up to shallow right where John Joseph dropped it allowing Murdock to score and Wohl to move to third. Adrian starter Tommy Parsons then gave up a triple to right center off the bat of Grant VanPutten allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score. VanPutten then scored on a Jordan VanderWall RBI single. Peter Cupery smacked a single through the left side and VanderWall took third. Parsons stopped the inning as Colton Wolfe grounded out to shortstop.
Adrian solved Wieringa in the fifth inning when they busted out six runs to take an 8-4 lead. Joseph singled up the middle and Josh Knorr followed with a bunt single in front of the pitcher's mound. Shutes singled to right to load the bases and that was it for Wieringa. Austin Juza inherited the bases loaded and Dorow greeted him with a two-run double off the wall in left. Gertley followed with an opposite field two-run double to left center making it 6-4. Drzewiecki singled up the middle and Gertley came around to score the team's seventh run. Collin Parcher banged a ground-rule double to right center moving Drzewiecki to third. Dakota Cararo lifted a sacrifice fly to right to end the scoring in the fifth.
Parsons settled in after the second and kept Calvin off the scoreboard before handing the ball off to Collin Korte to start the top of the seventh. Korte closed out the game and allowed just two hits with three strikeouts. Parsons got the win improving to 8-1 on the year. He tossed six innings and gave up no earned runs, no walks and struck out one.
"I was really excited and also a bit nervous heading into such a big start," said Parsons. "My teammates did a good job of keeping me loose and calming me down. After the second inning, I began to hit my spots better and keep the ball out of the middle of the plate. I knew my teammates would score some more runs and Collin came in and closed it out."
The Bulldogs tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth off Nate Schepers to make it 11-4. Joseph again started the threat with a single up the middle. Knorr bunted him over to second and Shutes had an infield single moving Joseph to third. Dorow hit a sacrifice fly to right scoring Joseph and Shutes followed with a stolen base to second. Gertley drove Shutes home with a single to left center and then Drzewiecki tripled to right center scoring Gertley.
"We have been down in some games this year, but realize that being patient is the key," said Gertley. "I wanted to produce for this team during the postseason and had some big hits for us. It is good to see results this season after working hard to improve my game. The power hitting has been there and it win this tournament again is a great feeling."
Adrian pounded out 17 hits led by Shutes who went 4-for-5 with three runs scored. It was his first four-hit game of the season and 10th multi-hit contest. Dorow went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. He now has five three-RBI games this season. Gertley finished 2-for-5 with two runs and four RBI. He leads the team with 11 multi-RBI games including four games with four RBI. Drzewiecki batted 3-for-5 with three RBI including his first triple of the season. Shutes led the team with a .571 batting average (8-for-14) during the tournament. Gertley drove in nine runs during the three-game tournament. Dorow batted .545 (6-for-11) with two home runs and six RBI.
"I'm very proud of this team and the way they never quit," said head coach Craig Rainey. "Today we didn't want to get too up or down and bouncing back is something we have done all season. He had been hitting the long ball in the first two games, but today didn't rely on that. We kept attacking the pitches we could drive and they fell at the right moments. Tommy did a great job for us and found his command better after the second inning. He and Collin gave us a chance to win today. Our guys make this fun year after year for me. This group battles and finds a way to win. I look forward to continuing this ride into regionals next week."