Bulldog Baseball Takes All Four from Calvin
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The MIAA season could not have started any sweeter for the Adrian College baseball team as they took all four games against Calvin College, including a pair of wins at Calvin Field on Wednesday afternoon (Mar. 30) to improve to 9-4 overall and 4-0 in the MIAA. The Bulldogs took game one, 6-2, with four runs in the top of the seventh and then claimed a 9-1 win behind strong pitching from Josh Burd and Mike Osterman.
The Bulldogs won a pair of games against the Knights yesterday at Nicolay Field and carried that momentum into game one on Wednesday. Adrian scored in the top of the first and actually scored in the first inning in every game of the series. AC led 1-0 after senior Jake Cappelletty hit a sacrifice fly to score sophomore Cody Meyer who led off the inning with a double.
Calvin responded with two runs in the bottom of the second as Ben Cok hit a two-run homer off Adrian starter Jason Fryman. The junior hurler settled down after that and did not allow a run over the final five innings on the mound. Fryman finished with a complete game win (2-0) and allowed just three hits. He gave up a double and homer in the second and just a bunt single in the fifth. Fryman also did not walk anyone and struck out five Knights.
Adrian tied the game at 2-2 in the third as senior Brian Bilius had a two-out RBI single which scored Andrew DeLuca. DeLuca had a two-out double down the right field line and then took third on a wild pitch from Calvin starter Peter Steiner. Steiner allowed eight hits in seven innings of work but just two of his six runs allowed were earned because of three Calvin errors. Steiner walked two and struck out six Bulldogs.
The game was in the balance until the seventh when Adrian broke free with four runs. Kyle Strawn led off with a walk and Mitch Stefanski attempted to sacrifice Strawn to second, but reached base himself after a critical throwing error by Steiner which allowed Strawn to move all the way to third. Stefanski advanced to second on a groundout by Joe Dubina to put runners on second and third with one away.
Garrett Green also reached first on an error by Cok which loaded the bases. Meyer delivered the game-winning hit with a two-run single up the middle which made it 4-2. DeLuca followed with an RBI single scoring Green and Cappelletty had a two-out RBI single to score Meyer with AC's sixth run. The top of the order went 4-for-8 as Meyer and DeLuca each collected a single and double with three runs scored and three RBI's combined. Cappelletty drove in two runs as the top four hitters in the lineup had all six RBI's.
The Bulldogs notched three runs in the top of the first in game two and did not let up. DeLuca and Bilius both singled and Nate Sarkissian was hit by a pitch to load the bags with two down. Dubina had an RBI single up the middle to score DeLuca. Senior Jason Greer then collected his sixth and seventh RBI's of the season with a clutch two-RBI single to right as Bilius and Sarkissian crossed home plate to give AC a 3-0 advantage before Burd could even take the ball.
Burd allowed an earned run in the third inning but then closed the door for his final two innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1 this season. He allowed seven hits in five innings, but did not walk anyone and struck out two Knights. Mike Osterman made his first appearance of the season and threw two scoreless innings allowing one hit which came after retiring the first five batters he faced once coming into the sixth. Osterman kept the ball down and induced five ground ball outs and one fly out to end the game.
Adrian tacked on two runs in the fourth, three runs in the fifth and one more for good measure in the sixth. Chris Kerekes got the spot start in left field and went 3-for-4 with three straight singles and a run scored in the nine-spot. Meyer collected two RBI as did Greer. Dubina went 2-for-2 with a team-high three RBI's. Bilius went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and scored twice. Adrian pounded out 13 hits in the nightcap, which broke a streak of six games with single-digit hits by the club. Jeff Groenewold yielded 11 hits and seven earned runs as the starter for Calvin. He took the loss (0-1) with 4.2 innings pitched and walked one and struck out one.
Adrian will play again tomorrow (Mar. 31) at Nicolay Field against rival Trine University (5-10, 1-3 MIAA) to start another four-game series. The Bulldogs and Thunder will compete at 2:00 pm in a doubleheader and then conclude the series with a pair of games on Saturday (Apr. 2) in Angola, Indiana.
Notes: Bilius and Sarkissian have started to break out on slumps with a good series against Calvin…Bilius hit .417 (5-for-12) against the Knights with three runs scored, two doubles and two RBI's…Sarkissian went 4-for-10 (.400) with two runs scored, three doubles and three RBI's…The pitching staff posted a 1.29 ERA in 28 innings with five walks and 26 strikeouts against Calvin.