Alma, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team celebrated Senior Day at Klenk Park on Saturday (May 6) afternoon, splitting a home doubleheader with Olivet College. The Scots fell in Game 1, 1-0, before rebounding with a 5-4 victory to close out the day.
Alma (13-25 overall, 11-15 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) entered the day as one of three teams fighting for the final spot in the MIAA Tournament. That door was closed, however, after the first game. The Scots loss, coupled with a win by Calvin College, which took the opening game of a doubleheader at Kalamazoo, eliminated the Alma from contention.
Senior Alex Peczynski (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) tallied four hits in the two games, while seniors Alex Valasek (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) and Mike Mallory (Ithaca, Mich./Ithaca) both threw complete games during their final day at Klenk Park as the program honored its eight seniors in between games.
The Scots will close out the 2017 season on Sunday, May 7, when it travels to Olivet College to close out the four-game series. First pitched is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Game 1 - Olivet 1, at Alma 0
Alex Valasek engaged with Olivet's Aaron Gillespie in a pitcher's duel as each hurler went the distance for their team. Valasek registered five strikeouts while Gillespie fanned six batters as the Comets took the opening game.
Olivet scored the game's only run in the top of the third inning on a RBI single by Alex Parthum, and held Alma in check the rest of the game.
The Scots attempted a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, loading the bases with one out. Olivet was able to force the lead runner out to get the second out, then finished the game when junior Austin Roeske (Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate) grounded out to the third base.
Game 2 - at Alma 5, Olivet 4
The Scots scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead for the first time in the game, then Mike Mallory shut the door to give Alma the split for the day.
Mallory tossed his fourth complete game of the season in his final collegiate start and kept Alma in the contest after surrendering four runs through the first three innings.
Olivet took a 2-0 lead to start the game before the Scots tied the game in the bottom of the second. Freshman Jaret Koin (Standish, Mich./Standish-Sterling) hit a RBI single to score senior Jerome Jackson (Harper Woods, Mich./Harper Woods), then senior Greg Goffee (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) sent freshman Vann Acker (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) home on a sacrifice fly to knot the game at 2-2.
The Comets responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third to go ahead by a 4-2 margin, but Alma began chipping away at the lead, scoring once in the bottom of the fifth when Jackson hit an RBI double to score senior Patrick Finn (Allenton, Mich./Almont).
Jackson finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI after getting the nod as the Scots' designated hitter in his final home appearance.
Alma broke through in the eighth inning when freshman Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant/Davenport) hit a RBI single with the bases loaded to score Acker, then Olivet pitcher Andrew Dayfield walked junior Ben Finzel (Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley/USC Salkahatchie) during the next at-bat to score Koin and give Alma a 5-4 lead.
Mallory finished the game in the top of the ninth, forcing a ground out and two pop outs to secure the victory.