Alma, Mich. – The Alma College baseball team won, 9-7, and 11-9, in a doubleheader Monday against the Hope College Flying Dutchmen. Sophomore Alex Dwan (Saginaw, Mich. / Nouvel Catholic Central) and senior left fielder Jordan Anstandig (West Bloomfield, Mich. / Walled Lake Northern) each drove in four runs on the day.
Sophomore Carson Kempa (North Branch, Mich. / North Branch) pitched six strong innings in game one for the Scots on his way to his first win of the season. Junior Aaron Saenz (Sebewaing, Mich. / Unionville-Sebewaing) pitched 3.2 innings in relief while giving up only one run on one hit to take his third victory of the year.
The Scots move into fourth place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 7-9 conference record and a 11-17 overall record. Hope drops to 25-3 on the year and 15-3 in the MIAA.
How It Happened
Game One – Alma 9, Hope 7
- Kempa worked himself out of a tough situation in the first inning with a runner on third and one out. The southpaw got one batter to go down looking and then forced a pop out to the shortstop.
- After Hope put up a run in the top of the second, the Scots responded in a big way a four-run inning in the bottom half. Freshman right fielder Joshua Robinson (Dewitt, Mich. / Dewitt) hit a sacrifice fly with one out and bases loaded to tie the game at one. Dwan then stepped into the batter's box and launched a ball over the left field wall for his first career home run.
- The Scots scored four more runs in the third. Junior first baseman Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich. / Mt. Pleasant) brought home the first run on a ground out. With two outs and a runner on second, Anstandig hit an RBI double. Anstandig would later score on an error that let junior second baseman Carter Sanderson (Ilderton, Ont. / Central Secondary School) reach first base. Sanderson would steal second and then score on a double by Robinson to give Alma an 8-1 lead.
- Kempa was able to face the minimum in the top of the fourth after picking off a runner at first to end the frame. Alma then scored its final run on a leadoff home run by junior catcher Jaret Koin (Sterling, Mich. / Standish-Sterling) in the bottom half of the inning.
- The Flying Dutchmen stormed back in the top of the seventh to make it close. Freshman Ty Sobczak (Petoskey, Mich. / Petoskey) came in with a four-run lead, runners on second and third and only one out. A ground out and back-to-back singles set up the righty to strike out Hope's leadoff hitter to end the game and lock down the save for the Scots.
Game Two – Alma 11, Hope 9
- There were plenty of runs by both teams in first few innings. Hope started it off with three in the top of the first with the Scots scoring two in the bottom half. Koin and junior center fielder Pete Carravallah (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth) led off with back-to-back doubles with Carravallah driving home Koin. Koin scored later on a single by Trucks.
- The Flying Dutchmen added three more in the second and the Scots once again answered with two of their own. With two outs and Anstandig on third and Robinson on second, Koin worked a walk with the fourth ball getting away from the catcher. Anstandig went home and slid in safely to make it a three-run game. On the next at-bat, Koin stole second with throw sailing over the shortstop's head which allowed Robinson to cross home.
- Both teams each scored one in the third. The Scots earned there's off the bat of junior shortstop Zach Schirmer (Bay City, Mich. / Bay City Western) who took one deep over the left center field wall.
- Saenz came out of the bullpen in the top of the fourth and got out of situation of runners on second and third with one out. The Scots cut the lead to one thanks to lead off walk by Robinson who would steal second and then advance to third on a Dwan ground out. Koin plated the freshman on sacrifice fly to right.
- After Saenz put up three straight scoreless frames on the mound, Alma took its first lead in the bottom of the seventh. Junior third baseman Logan Huff (Johannesburg, Mich. / Johannesburg-Lewiston) tied the game with an RBI single. Anstandig followed it with a double to the left center field gap to score two and put Alma up, 9-7.
- The Scots were not done in the seventh as Anstandig later scored with two outs on balk and then Dwan drilled one off the left field wall to score another and make it a 11-7 ballgame.
- Junior Dylan Clark (Tomball, Texas / Tomball Memorial) looked to pick up the save with the score 11-8 in the top of the ninth. After giving up one run, Clark was able to get an out by tagging out a runner who was trying to score on a pass ball. The righty though would have to come out of the game after the collision leading to Sobczak coming out of the bullpen. The freshman forced an infield pop out and struck out the final batter looking to earn the doubleheader sweep.
- Anstandig went 4-for-5 on the day while knocking in three and scoring four runs.
- Schirmer's solo blast in game two was his first home run in an Alma uniform.
- Koin's home run was his fourth of the season. He's now tied with Huff for third most in the MIAA.
- Sobczak earned his first two career saves.
- The Scots extend their win streak at Klenk Park to 13 games.
- Hope's 16-game win streak ended in game one. Their last lost before today came on March 25.
Alma prepares to go head-to-head with the Hornets of Kalamazoo College this weekend. The Scots travel to Kalamazoo for a doubleheader on Saturday then return home for a twin bill on Sunday. Game one on both days is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.