Bulldog Baseball Walks Off in Game One in Split with Trine
ADRIAN, Mich. - It was not a typical walk in the park for the Adrian College baseball team on Friday as they hosted rival Trine University at Nicolay Field. The Bulldogs needed to rally for a 4-3 win in game one and then were out-dueled 1-0 in the nightcap.
Adrian (31-7, 23-3 MIAA) had their 14-game winning streak snapped in game two and were nearly swept at home after coming into the day with a perfect record on their home diamond. Trine jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one off Adrian starter Jason Fryman. Josh Rivera led off with an infield single and promptly stole second. Matt Zurbriggen grounded out to short allowing Rivera to take third. Ryan Smith then had an RBI groundout to third to empty the bases and give Trine a 1-0 lead. Steve Cornett struck out next for the Thunder but reached on a wild pitch on the third strike. He later scored on a Tom Wilder double down the left field line to make it 2-0.
Adrian cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the first thanks to two errors by shortstop Nick Beitler. Beitler overthrew the leadoff grounder off the bat of Sam Fischer and Andrew DeLuca bunted him over to second. Fischer moved up a base on a fly out by Mitch Stefanski. Kyle Strawn then had an infield RBI single scoring Fischer.
Trine made it 3-1 in the third as a passed ball allowed Rivera to score from third with one out. Adrian cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth again helped out by an error from Beitler. Jamey Sackett singled to start the inning and Clay Paul had a pinch hit sacrifice bunt moving Sackett to second. Cody Meyer walked on a full count and then starter Kale Popp was lifted for Nick Cocanower. Fischer flied out allowing Sackett to move to third with two outs. DeLuca's grounder to short was mishandled allowing Sackett to score. Jordan Baer entered on the mound for Trine and struck out Stefanski to end the inning.
Fryman kept his team in the game heading into the seventh and finished with the win (9-1) going seven innings with two earned runs, a walk and eight strikeouts. He threw 115 pitches and now is one win shy of tying the school-record for a season set by Ryan Domschot. The Bulldogs saw Jeremy Spalding enter the game for Trine. Spalding entered the day with nine saves but blew one on this day.
Strawn was hit by a pitch to start the rally and Garrett Green moved him over to second with a bunt. Freshman Zach Kolvey then had his biggest moment as a Bulldog with an RBI single to left on a full count pitch. Kolvey advanced to second on the attempted throw to home as Strawn scored. Kolvey was pinch ran for by Ryan Sigler at second and then Sackett flied out to center allowing Sigler to take third with two outs. Junior reserve catcher Anthony Sergi played the hero as his infield single to short allowed Sigler to score the winning run.
The Adrian bats were silenced in game two by Trine's Jake Rightnowar. The lefty from Oregon, Ohio allowed just two singles by the Bulldogs as AC fell to 7-4 against lefties this season. Rightnowar went the distance with no walks and four strikeouts in an 81-pitch outing improving to 5-1 on the year. Trine's lone run off Adrian's Rylie Robinson came in the fourth inning. Zurbriggen doubled to the gap in left center and Fischer bobbled the ball allowing Zurbriggen to take third with one out. Ryan Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to center for the game's only run.
Robinson was the hard luck loser falling to 6-2 overall, but he did lower his season ERA to 1.16 by fanning one as the only run was unearned. Robinson threw 81 pitches and allowed five hits to the Thunder. The two teams will continue its four-game series on Sunday in Angola, Indiana. The Bulldogs will then gear up for the inaugural MIAA Baseball Tournament which will be at Nicolay Field beginning May 9th and running through May 11th. The winner of the double-elimination tournament will represent the MIAA in the NCAA Tournament.