Pierce Banks Shuts Down Kalamazoo to Advance #1 Seeded Bulldogs into MIAA Baseball Tournament Championship

Pierce Banks tossed an eight-hit shutout as Adrian defeated Kalamazoo, 11-0, Thursday in the MIAA Tournament. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Pierce Banks tossed an eight-hit shutout as Adrian defeated Kalamazoo, 11-0, Thursday in the MIAA Tournament. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich.--Freshman Pierce Banks tossed his second shutout of the season to pitch Adrian College into the championship game of the 2017 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball Tournament, blanking visiting Kalamazoo College, 11-0, on Thursday. 

MIAA Tournament Page l Tournament Bracket l Digital Game Program l Host Site Page

THE BASICS
= Final Scoreline: Adrian 11-15-0; Kalamazoo 0-8-2 

= Location: Nicolay Field, Adrian, Mich.; Weather: Sunny, 54 degrees, Wind NE 8 mph

= Records: #1 seed Adrian Bulldogs 32-10 overall; #2 seed Kalamazoo Hornets 29-13 overall

= National Rankings: Adrian ("RV" National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association/D3baseball.com, 29 points; "RV" American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, 10 points)

TOP 'DAWGS
= Junior Hunter Hayes returned to the Adrian lineup after a four-game absence due to injury, recording game highs of three hits and four runs batted in.

= Senior Miccoy Drzewiecki went 3-for-4, including a double, with two runs scored.

= Senior Ryan Dorow, sophomore Dugan Darnell and freshman Gunner Rainey each chipped in two hits apiece.

= Banks scattered eight singles and allowed one walk while striking out five.

THE OPPOSITION
= Mitch VanKoevering and Ian Kobernick both had two hits for the Hornets.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian capitalized on two Kzoo errors to score four unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning. Hayes sparked the outburst with a two-run double to right field, followed by RBI singles from sophomore Dugan Darnell and freshman Gunner Rainey.

= The Bulldogs broke the game wide open with five runs in the next frame. Dorow opened with a sacrifice fly to right field, Hayes followed with a two-run single to center and freshman Tristin Richardson capped it with a 2-RBI single to right.

= Adrian almost doubled up Kzoo in hits, 15 to eight.

= Kalamazoo's first good scoring chance came in the top of the fifth when it had runners at first and second base with two outs. But Banks induced an inning-ending groundout.

= The Hornets had a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the seventh when Andre Gard and VanKoevering had back-to-back singles with one out. After a groundout moved up both runners a base and then a walk to load the bases, Banks induced a comebacker so that he got the force-out at home to end the threat.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian remains ranked third in the third NCAA Division III Mideast Region Rankings, released today.

= The Bulldogs are now 14-3 in MIAA Tournament play since the event started in 2012.

= Banks lowered his MIAA-leading earned-run average to 1.99, moved into fourth place with 57 strikeouts, and is tied in the league in victories (8-0).

= Jordan Wiley of Kzoo had a stolen base today to tie Adrian senior Ian Mikowski for tops in the MIAA with 36.

= The 11-run margin is the biggest postseason shutout victory ever for the Bulldogs.

= Dorow hit his MIAA-leading eighth triple, which is a career high. He is one shy of tying the school single-season record.

= The Bulldogs came into the contest ranked 22nd in the nation with 38 double plays, and turned two more for a total of 40.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will play the Kzoo Hornets again after the latter defeated Calvin College in a Game-5 elimination contest, 2-1, on a walk-off double by Gard. The Bulldogs and Hornets will square off at noon Friday for the MIAA tournament championship, as Adrian is 2-0 in the tourney. The "if necessary" contest will follow 30 minutes later.

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