Alma, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team swept visiting Adrian College on Saturday (April 15) at Klenk Park, posting the first doubleheader sweep of the Bulldogs since May 2, 1992, a span of nearly 25 years. The Scots (10-18 overall, 8-8 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) needed extra innings to get the first win, defeating Adrian 15-14, while the second game saw Alma win by a 14-9 margin to split the weekend series.
The Scots opened the second half of league play with two big wins to move them into a tie for fourth place in the league standings with Trine University. The Scots and Thunder sit two games behind Kalamazoo College and Hope College, while the Bulldogs have a three-game lead on the pack with 12 games to play.
Junior Eric Frontzak (Naperville, Ill./Montini Catholic) was credited with both wins, coming in to throw 2.1 innings of relief to close out Game 1, then returning as the starter in Game 2, pitching six innings.
Every Scot that came to the plate recorded at least one hit over the two games, including freshman Vann Acker (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids), who was 5-for-8 with three doubles and three RBIs against the Bulldogs' pitching staff.
The Scots will open a four-game series with Calvin College on Friday, April 21, at Klenk Park. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
Game 1 - at Alma 15, Adrian 14 (9 innings)
The Scots scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off with the extra-innings victory, closing out a game where Alma was down by as many as six runs.
The Scots gave up six scores in the first inning but fought back, scoring in five consecutive innings to take a 12-8 lead in after six inning before the Bulldogs tied the game and forced extra innings with a four-run seventh, tying the game at 12-12.
Adrian scored twice in the top of the ninth to grab a 14-12 advantage before the Scots scored twice on RBI singles by senior Adam Thoryk (Syracuse, N.Y./John C. Birdlebough/St. John Fisher) and junior Nick Swanson (West Bloomfield, Mich./Notre Dame Prep), then loaded the bases with one out. Thoryk scored the winning run when junior Matthew Minaudo (Clinton Township, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate) reached on an error to end the game.
Thoryk finished the game 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Vann Acker went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. Minaudo was also 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, while junior Austin Roeske (Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate) posted a team-high four RBIs.
Freshman Josh Riggs (Irons, Mich./Brethren) got the start on the mound, but was chased after two-third of an inning. Freshman Ben Blake (Sanford, Mich./Meridian) went 4.1 innings in relief, allowing only two hits and striking out six, and was replaced in the sixth inning by freshman Garret Miller (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer West/Mott CC), who pitch into the seventh inning before being replaced by Frontzak.
Adrian used six pitchers in the game and gave up 17 hits to the Scots, including three in the final inning.
Game 2 - at Alma 14, Adrian 9
Alma jumped on the Bulldogs with a six-run first inning and never looked back to secure the two-game sweep.
Senior Alex Peczynski (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) went 3-for-3 in the game, hitting two triples and a double while collecting three RBIs. Junior Ben Finzel (Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley/USC Salkahatchie) also tallied three RBIs and went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.
After sitting the first game, Peczynski put Alma up 2-0 after a triple to the centerfield wall in his first at bat, then Finzel hit a two-RBI double to give Alma a 4-0 advantage and chase Bulldogs' starting pitcher Brian Gubbini, who lasted one-third of an inning. Matthew Minaudo grounded out at the next at-bat, scoring senior Patrick Finn (Allenton, Mich./Almont), then Vann Acker hit a double to score Finzel, giving Alma a 6-0 lead.
Adrian responded with a run in the top of the second but the Scots continued to pour on the offense, scoring twice in the second inning to take a 8-1 advantage. Finzel hit an RBI double to score Peczynski, then Finn scored on an error that allowed Minaudo to reach base.
Adrian opened the third inning with three runs, including a two-run shot by Hunter Hayes, but Alma kept scoring, responding the three runs of its own. Peczynski tripled to score freshman Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant/Davenport), then Adam Thoryk hit Peczynski home at the next at bat with a RBI double. Freshman Jaret Koin (Standish, Mich./Standish-Sterling) added to the total, scoring Thoryk with a RBI single.
The Scots opened up the lead to 13-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Trucks hit a two-RBI single to right field, scoring Acker and Minaudo.
Adrian added two in the top of the fifth and the Scots scored in the bottom of the sixth to hold a 14-6 lead before the Bulldogs cut into the lead in the top of the seventh, scoring three times.
Frontzak got his second win of the day with six innings of work, while the Bulldogs used five pitchers in the game.