Adrian, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team suffered a pair of losses in the MIAA Tournament on Friday (May 10) at Nicolay Field as the Scots were eliminated from the postseason.
Alma (24-19 overall) suffered a 5-4 defeat to regular-season champion Adrian College in the tournament semifinal, then saw a ninth-inning comeback fall short in a 5-3 loss to Hope College in an elimination game.
The Scots finish the season with the second-most wins in program history, and advanced to the postseason for the second time in three years under third-year Head Coach Jake Sabol. The program graduates six seniors - Austin Roeske, Ben Finzel, Matt Minaudo, Adam Martinson, Nick Swanson and Erik Frontzak.
at Adrian 5, Alma 4 (MIAA Tournament Game 3)
- Ben Finzel went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles as the Scots fell to the Bulldogs in the semifinal round.
- Adrian scored the game's first two runs, reaching home on a throwing error in the second inning and scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to go up by a 2-0 margin.
- Alma put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. With one out and runners on first and second, Jaret Koin hit a RBI single to left field, scoring Finzel, who doubled to get on base. Pete Carravallah tied the game during the next at-bat, hitting a RBI single to left to score Alex Dwan, while Jordan Anstandig put the Scots ahead with a RBI single to center, scoring Koin.
- The Bulldogs responded with three runs in the top of the sixth to regain the lead. Hunter Hayes hit a two-run homer to left field to give Adrian a 4-3 lead, then Jason Croci scored to give the Bulldogs a 5-3 advantage on a RBI single by Frank Resto.
- The Scots cut into the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Vann Acker hit a RBI double to the left corner to score Max Trucks. Alma stranded two runners in scoring position to end the inning, leaving the Scots trailing 5-4.
- Alma tried to get the equalizer in the bottom of the eighth inning, putting two runners on with one out, but Adrian's defense stranded the pair to preserve the lead. The Bulldogs' Jordan Williams closed the door in the ninth inning, earning the save after forcing a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.
- Dylan Dzendzel took the loss for the Scots after pitching six innings and allowing five runs while striking out three batters. Carson Kempa took the mound in the seventh and went 2.1 innings, while Jordan Masters replaced Kempa with one out in the top of the ninth.
Hope 5, Alma 3 (MIAA Tournament Game 5 - Alma eliminated)
- A ninth-inning comeback attempt fell short for the Scots, who left 13 runners on base in the loss.
- Max Trucks went 3-for-5 from the lead-off position while five other Scots tallied two hits as Alma peppered the Flying Dutchmen with 14 hits.
- Hope opened the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, but the Scots responded in the top of the second when Trucks hit a RBI single, scoring Ben Finzel.
- The Dutchmen kept Alma off the board in the fourth inning, stranding two runners in scoring position, but the Scots returned the favor in the bottom of the frame. Hope was able to add to its lead in the bottom of the fifth, going up by a 3-1 margin, then kept Alma off the board again in the top of the eighth, holding the Scots to runners at the corners.
- Hope added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, taking a 5-1 lead on a pair of RBI singles.
- In the top of the ninth, the Scots put a rally together, scoring twice to close the gap to 5-3. Trucks led the inning off with a single, then was send home on a RBI single by Vann Acker. After Logan Huff hit a double to put two runners in scoring position, the Dutchmen brought in closer CJ Otteman. Matt Minaudo was able to get a hit during the next at-bat, scoring Acker and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.
- Hope ended the game with a double play, striking out Ben Finzel and gunning down Minaudo, who was attempting to steal second.
- Eric Frontzak went the distance for Alma, throwing 131 pitches and striking out three batters. Frontzak was a workhorse for the Scots during the tournament, throwing a total of 191 pitches over two days.
- Alma finished the season with a 24-18 record, marking the second-most wins in program history.
- The Scots are 5-8 in one-run games this season, including a pair of one-run defeats at the hands of Adrian at Nicolay Field.
- All three of the Scots' MIAA Tournament games were decided by two runs or less.
- Vann Acker set the school record for doubles in a season with his two-bagger against Adrian. Acker now has 16 doubles, eclipsing the mark of 15, set by Steve Slowke in 2002. Acker also finished the season with an eight-game hitting streak.
- Alma's 81 doubles this season top the old record of 80, set in 2016.
- Alma has scored 254 runs this season, tying the school record set in 2016.
- The Scots took a school-record 1352 at bats this year, topping the previous record of 1302, set in 2016.
- Alma also set a record for total bases, tallying 542. The previous mark was 518 from the 2016 campaign.
- The Scots increased their record-setting season RBI total to 231 with four RBIs against Adrian and three against Hope.
- Ben Finzel has hit a career-high 12 doubles this season and tied a career high with three hits in the game versus Adrian. Finzel doubled his total of two-baggers from last season in two fewer at bats. He has also recorded a career-high 32 hits this season.
- Max Trucks and Matt Minaudo took a record 159 at-bats this season, topping the old mark of 155, set by Minaudo in 2016.
- Logan Huff finished the year with 54 hits, second all-time and six shy of the school record. He also hit a team-best .344.