Kalamazoo, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team captured their second MIAA series of the season, splitting with Kalamazoo College on Sunday (April 29) at Woodworth Field.
The Scots (20-16 overall, 13-11 MIAA) captured three of four games against the Hornets over the weekend to move into a tie for second place in the league with Kalamazoo and Calvin College.
Alma will face Calvin on Friday and Saturday, May 4-5, in the final series of the season with the right to host a first-round MIAA Tournament game on the line. The Scots, Knights, Hope College and Trine University (IN) are all in the hunt for the remaining three spots in the tournament field.
Game 1 - Alma 5, at Kalamazoo 3
- Ben Finzel hit a home run in the top of the sixth inning to put the Scots up by three runs, which would prove to be enough as the Scots clinched the series with their third win of the weekend.
- Dylan Dzendzel tossed a complete game struck out seven batters to earn the win, while Alma handed the Hornets' pitcher Ryan Orr his first loss of the year.
- Kalamazoo took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first before Alma tied the game in the top of the third after Max Trucks scored Pete Carravallah with a RBI triple. Trucks put another run on the board in the fifth when he hit Jaret Koin home with a RBI single to give Alma a 2-1 lead.
- After Finzel's home run to put the Scots up, 4-1, Kalamazoo added two runs in the bottom half of the sixth, but Alma was able to add an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Carravallah scored on a fielding error.
Game 2 - at Kalamazoo 6, Alma 5
- Kalamazoo scored three times in the bottom of the seventh and broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the bottom of the eighth to salvage one game in the series.
- The Hornets went up 2-0 after scoring in the first and third innings, but Alma was able to chip away at the lead with a run in the top of the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Alex Dwan, which scored Logan Huff.
- The Scots took the lead in the seventh inning after Max Trucks hit a RBI double to score Pete Carravallah, when Matt Minaudo hit a RBI single to score Max Tucks, while Logan Huff was able to reach home on a throwing error to put Alma up 4-2.
- Kalamazoo regained a 5-4 lead in the borrow of the seventh with three runs, but Alma tied the game in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Trucks to score Jaret Koin and knot the game at 5-5.
- The Hornets' Chase Coselman put Kalamazoo up for good with a RBI single in the bottom half of the eighth.
- Joseph Barrons threw 6.1 innings as the starter for Alma, while Carson Kempa was tagged with the loss after pitching the final 1.1 innings.
- Head Coach Jake Sabol became the first coach in Alma baseball history to manage the Scots to 20 or more wins in two seasons with Alma's Game 1 victory. The Scots have now won 20 or more games in three of the last four campaigns.
- Although Alma split with Hope College and Trine University, the Scots currently own the tiebreaker against those teams thanks to a win over Adrian College earlier in the season. Should Alma finish tied with Calvin, the Scots would own that tiebreaker thanks a a series victory over Kalamazoo. With four games remaining, Alma and Calvin have 13 wins, while Hope has 12 and Trine has 11. The Dutchmen will play Adrian College while the Thunder take on Albion College to wrap up the regular season.
The Scots host their final regular-season doubleheader of the season on Friday, May 4, as Alma opens a four-game series with Calvin College at 2 p.m.. Six seniors - Austin Roeske, Ben Finzel, Matt Minaudo, Adam Martinson, Nick Swanson and Eric Frontzak - will be recognized between games as part of Senior Day festivities.