Adrian Upends No. 2-Seed Otterbein in NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Mideast Regional Opener

Sophomore Brady Wood led all student-athletes with three hits and three runs batted in as Adrian beat Otterbein, 11-5, in the NCAA Mideast Regional Thursday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Sophomore Brady Wood led all student-athletes with three hits and three runs batted in as Adrian beat Otterbein, 11-5, in the NCAA Mideast Regional Thursday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

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ADRIAN, Mich.--NCAA Division III Baseball Mideast Regional host Adrian College rallied for an 11-5 victory over Otterbein University in their opening game on Friday evening. 

THE BASICS
= Final Scoreline: #7 seed Adrian College 11-14-3; #2 seed Otterbein University 5-9-3 

= Location: Nicolay Field, Adrian, Mich.; Weather Conditions: Sunny, 75 degrees, Wind East 13 mph

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs, 34-10 overall; Otterbein Cardinals, 30-15 overall

= National Rankings: Adrian is No. 28 by American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, 54 points; Adrian is No. 25 in D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, 65 points; Otterbein is "receiving votes" by D3baseball.com (20 points) and ABCA/CBN (17).

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCES
= Adrian link l Otterbein link 

TOP 'DAWGS
= Sophomore Brady Wood went 3-for-6, including a double, with three runs batted in.

= Senior Frank Resto, junior Zack Zschering and sophomore Tristin Richardson had two hits each.

= Senior Tommy Parsons (W, 11-0) won his 23rd game in a row in a complete game effort. He scattered nine hits, five runs (4 earned), two walks with six strikeouts.

THE OPPOSITION
= Ben Beachy, Tyler Thompson and Luke Barber had two hits apiece in OU's nine-hit attack.

= Tim Snyder and Barber each drove in a pair of runs.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Trailing 5-3, Adrian scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to take the lead for good. Wood blooped a double down the right field line to plate Zschering with an unearned run to tie it 5-5 and senior Hunter Hayes brought home Wood with a RBI-single to left center field for the go-ahead run.

= Adrian added five insurance runs in the ninth by capitalizing on two OU errors. Wood keyed the spurt with a two-run single.

= Otterbein overcame a 3-0 deficit after 3-1/2 innings. The Cardinals got within 3-2 in the fourth when Snyder singled to right field. Then in the fifth, Barber hit only the second homer against Parsons this season, with a man on, that gave OU its first lead at 4-3. Otterbein scored another tally on a throwing error to go up two runs.

= The teams combined for 21 runners left on base (Adrian-13; Otterbein-8) and three Cardinal errors cost six of the runs to be unearned.

= Resto put Adrian up 1-0 with a RBI-single to center field and Richardson and junior Jordan Torrento had RBI-singles two innings later.  

= The Cardinals touched Parsons for five runs and eight hits through the first four innings, but could only muster one more hit for the final five. In fact, Parsons retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced (one reached on an error) by better locating his pitches. He finished with 97 strikes on 143 pitches, which is a season high.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian won its first contest in five meetings against Otterbein. Before today, the schools last played in 2016.

= Parsons, the all-Divisions NCAA career wins leader among active pitchers, becomes just the fourth in Division III history to reach 40 victories. (Marietta's Matt DeSalvo had been the most recent with a 53-6 mark from 1999-03.)

= Otterbein reliever Collin Hoffmann (L, 8-2) suffered a rare loss and he is one of the best closers in Division III baseball today with seven saves.

= Hayes ties current Texas Rangers farmhand Ryan Dorow for the most RBIs in an Adrian single season with 56.

QUOTING ADRIAN COACH CRAIG RAINEY:
= "I think today's game was exactly what we anticipated. We knew there were eight great teams coming to this regional and we knew it was going to be competitive." Regarding OU able to get some hits and runs off Parsons: "I think that was partially on me. I called a lot of outside pitches to start the game and they kind of got in a rythym."

UP NEXT
= Adrian will play La Roche (35-8-1) at 7:45 p.m. Friday in Game 8 winners' bracket of the regional.

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #BulldogProud

Mideast Regional seedings at Adrian College: No. 1 Wooster (36-8), No. 2 Otterbein (30-14), No. 3 La Roche (34-8-1), No. 4 Marietta (27-16), No. 5 Shenandoah (34-10), No. 6 Ithaca (28-15), No. 7 Adrian (33-10) and No. 8 Wabash (28-15).

Game 1: Shenandoah def. Marietta, 3-2

Shenandoah opened up the Mideast Regional as victors. The Hornets scored three runs in the first two innings to jump ahead of Marietta College enroute to a 3-2 victory over the Pioneers.

Luke Nussman doubled to right center to push across the first run of the tournament.

Shenandoah used small ball to push across the next two in the second inning before throwing up zeroes the rest of the game.

Colin Morse went the distance for the Hornets. The senior hurler gave up just seven hits and struck out seven.

"Morse was the story of the game," said Shenandoah coach Kevin Anderson. "An absolutely huge performance and fortunately we came out on top of a one-run game."

Marietta came alive in the sixth inning when a double steal allowed Brady Cottom to score. The Pioneers were still threatening in the sixth but Morse was able to catch Chris Petrucci stealing to end the threat.

Marietta added another in the seventh when Zak Ward flied out to center for a sacrifice. That was the final run either team would be able to muster as Morse and the Pioneer bullpen shut down hitters the rest of the way.

Shenandoah, who has won their ninth straight opening round regional game, will enter the winners side of the bracket, playing the winner of College of Wooster and Wabash College at 4:30 pm on Friday. Marietta will await the loser of the Wooster, Wabash game. That one will begin at 10:00 am on Friday.

"We have been here before," said coach Brian Brewer who is in his fifteenth season with the Pioneers. "We now have to do everything we can to make sure we are ready to go and that no one is going to give more effort than us."

Game 2: Wooster def. Wabash, 4-2

College of Wooster, the top-seed in the region, opened up its tournament with a 4-2 victory over fellow NCAC member Wabash College. The Fighting Scots hit early as they pushed across two runs in the first inning. Dan Harwood and Drew Tornow both hit RBI-singles to give Wooster the lead.

"We wanted to jump on them early," said Wooster coach Tim Pettorini. "I think it helped our guys relax a little bit."

Wabash scraped one back in the second, Tyler Downing's double to right scored The Little Giants first run of the game."It was a good game," said Wabash coach Jake Martin. "We know Wooster well, but we just could not get big hits when we needed them."

Wooster extended the lead back to three in the bottom half when Micahel Wielansky drove in a run with a two-out single.

Wielansky became the second known player in NCAA Division III baseball with 200 hits, 200 runs and 150 runs batted in before the completion of his junior year.

"It is an incredible accomplishment," said Wielansky. "I have to give it up to my teammates too. I would not have any of these numbers without my teammates."

Wabash would push one more run across in the sixth inning when Matthew Annee drove in Jackson Belvins to conclude the scoring as Chandler Dippman shutdown the Little Giants, going the distance with two strikeouts.

"(Dippman) has been phenomenal all season long," said Pettorini. Wooster will face Shenandoah University Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm. Wabash will enter the losers bracket and face Marietta College at 10:00 am Friday morning.

Game 3: La Roche def. Ithaca, 5-1

Sloppy play and missed opportunities contributed to Ithaca College's first game loss to 3-seeded La Roche College. The Redhawks of La Roche scored in each of the first three innings enroute to their 5-1 victory. "It certainly seemed like nerves," said Ithaca coach George Valesente. "But we have done that multiple times that have hurt us."

Tre Thomas went 6.2 inning strong giving up just the one run while striking out seven. "Tre has been great for us all year," said La Roche coach Chase Rowe. "Sometimes he can get
away with these walks."

In the first inning, Gino Quahile reached on an error which allowed Jonathan Spi to score. Spi knocked in the unearned second run in the second inning and Johnathan Me's two-out, two-RBI
single broke the game open in the third inning.

Ithaca was able to push a run across in the third thanks to two walks and a sacrifice fly. "It was not my best today," said Thomas. "But I knew I had my team behind me."

La Roche was able to get one more in the fifth inning when a Jay Novak groundout allowed Shane Roebuc to score. "They put a lot of pressure on us," said Valesente. "They manufactured three of their runs."

"Our job is to get runs across the plate," said Joe Professori when asked about if manufacturing runs was part of the La Roche game plan.

La Roche will face the winner of Adrian, Otterbein who plays the final game of the day on Thursday. Ithaca will have a winner-take-all game against the loser of the evening game.

--Sean Cain '18