ADRIAN – It looked as if the Adrian College baseball team was beginning to build momentum after a slow start to the season. The team came into Tuesday's MIAA doubleheader against Hope College riding a four-game win streak with two of those wins against nationally-ranked teams. The Flying Dutchmen exacted a little revenge after last year's 17-2 loss in the conference tournament final at Nicolay Field with a pair of wins (2-1 and 8-1) against the Bulldogs.
The opening game featured a close battle between starting pitcher Rylie Robinson of Adrian and Cory Schmidt of Hope. Schmidt came into the game with a 6.00 ERA but put his previous starts this season behind him. Schmidt tossed a complete game gem allowing six hits (one extra base) and one earned run in the fifth. He did not walk a batter and struck out five in 96 pitches. Robinson matched Schmidt after yielding single earned runs in the second and third. He went 6.2 innings allowing just five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Tommy Eng needed just four pitches to record the final out in the seventh.
Hope got a two-out run in the second as Alex Hunt singled to start the inning and took second on a wild pitch. Robinson fanned the next two guys but gave up a bloop single to right from Ben Pearson to score Hunt. Pearson tried to stretch the hit into a double but was gunned out at second from R.J. Rios to Ben Yax.
Hope added to their lead in the third as ninth-hitter Brady VanderWeele was hit by a 2-2 pitch to start the inning. Tim Bodine moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt and Eric Dawson doubled down the left field line scoring VanderWeele.
Adrian cut the lead in half in the fifth as Garrett Green led off with a ground-rule double down the right field line. Taylor Milligan bunted Green to third and Anthony Sergi had a RBI single down 1-2 in the count. Sergi was picked off first and Yax struck out to end any further scoring chances. Adrian had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the seventh but could not execute. Andrew DeLuca lobbed a single to left to start the inning but three unsuccessful bunt attempts by Green kept DeLuca at first. Mitch Stefanski delivered a pinch-hit single moving DeLuca to second with one down. Dom Pompey took a called third strike and Yax grounded out to third to end the game. Sergi went 2-for-2 in game one and was the only Bulldog with multiple hits.
In game two, Adrian did not have a chance to win giving up eight runs (six earned) on 10 Hope hits. Eric Schmidt went 4.1 innings and gave up a career-high five earned runs. He gave up six hits and walked one with two strikeouts. He also hit three Flying Dutchmen batters in 89-pitch outing with 50 accounting for strikes. Eric Sims cleaned up the final 2.2 innings and gave up four hits and one run with a strikeout (28 pitches).
Currey Thomas improved to 3-0 on the mound this season for Hope. He lowered his ERA to 1.29 by going seven innings and allowing three singles with two walks and five strikeouts. Bodine launched his first home run of the year over the left field wall in the fourth and gave Hope a 4-0 lead. Bodine's two-run shot seemed to take the wind out of Adrian's sails because the Flying Dutchmen added four more runs in the fifth to put the game away. Bodine ended game two with three RBI's as pinch hitter Ryan Konkle also had a big hit with a bases-loaded double in the fifth. Nine different Hope players had a hit in game two as Devin Schaefers had the only multiple-hit game and also scored twice.
Corleone Desimone was a bright spot for the Bulldogs as he entered the game in the fifth inning and ripped two singles in two at-bats in his first collegiate game on varsity. The Bulldogs will look to get into the MIAA win column on Friday, Mar. 29 against Alma with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Nicolay Field.