Baseball out-duels Hope in first round of MIAA Tournament

Baseball out-duels Hope in first round of MIAA Tournament

Alma, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team recorded the first-ever postseason victory at Klenk Park on Wednesday afternoon (May 9) as the Scots out-dueled Hope College to a 10-8 victory in the first round of the MIAA Baseball Tournament.

Alma (24-17 overall) now advances to face Adrian College in the semifinals of the tournament, which will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 10, at Nicolay Field on the campus of Adrian College. Hope (16-23) will take on Calvin College in an elimination game at 2 p.m.

Sophomore Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) provided the heroics for the Scots, going 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and four RBIs. Trucks hit a two-RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth to put the Scots ahead for good, while senior Ben Finzel (Saginaw Mich./Swan Valley) sealed the game with a diving defensive stop in the top of the ninth to prevent a run and record the final out. 

How It Happened

  • The Scots opened the game with a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Matt Minaudo hit a two-RBI single with the bases loaded to score Jordan Anstandig and Max Trucks. Alma took a three-run lead in the third inning after Vann Acker hit a home run over the left field fence to make the score 3-0.
  • Hope began to come back in the top of the fourth inning, scoring twice to pull within one run. Mason Opple hit a RBI double to get the Dutchmen's first run across the place, then scored on an error after stealing third to make the score 3-2.
  • After stranding an Alma runner in the bottom of the fourth, Hope took the lead in the top of the fifth, scoring twice to go up by a 4-3 margin. Landon Brower tied the game with a RBI single, while Jordan Fairchild put Hope ahead with a RBI double down the right field line.
  • The momentum stayed with Hope after holding the Scots to a 1-2-3 inning, as it added two more runs in the top of the sixth to pull ahead, 6-3. Brower hit a RBI single, then scored after Brant Kym hit him home with a RBI double. 
  • Alma answered Hope's six consecutive runs with four scores in the bottom of the sixth to regain the lead. With one out and runners on first and second, Alex Dwan hit a RBI single to score Minaudo. After Jaret Koin was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Pete Carravallah hit a sacrifice fly to score Ben Finzel, pulling the Scots within one run at 6-5 and chasing starting pitcher Sean Hoey. Max Trucks put Alma ahead during the next at-bat, hitting a two-RBI double to score Koin and Dwan and put the Scots ahead, 7-6. 
  • Hope tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the seventh when Cal Barrett grounded out to the shortstop with the bases loaded, scoring Fairchild. 
  • Alma attempted to regain the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Logan Huff hit a one-out triple, painting the right field line, but he was stranded as relief pitcher C.J. Otteman forced an infield fly out and struck out Finzel to end the inning.
  • The Dutchmen regained the lead in the top of the 8th on a RBI double by Fairchild to go up 8-7 and loaded the bases with two outs, but Alma got out of the jam as the Scots ended the inning with a double play.
  • In the bottom of the eighth inning, Alex Dwan hit a leadoff single to put the tying run on first base, then a single by Carravallah gave the Scots runners on first and second with one out. Trucks sent both Scots home, hitting a two-RBI triple to put Alma ahead, 9-7. Trucks added a run, scoring on a ground out by Jordan Anstandig to give the Scots a two-run cushion.

Noteables

  • Alma went 1-3 against Adrian during the regular season, opening the MIAA portion of its schedule with a four-game set against the Bulldogs on March 23-25. 
  • The Scots posted a 3-0 record against Hope at Klenk Park this season.
  • Matt Minaudo set the program record for RBIs in a season, recording two to push his season total to a record 39. He breaks the record held by Mark Gilling (1988) and Doug Walters (2016).
  • The Scots hit their 21st home run of the season, tying the squad for the fourth-best total in program history. 
  • Alma's 75 doubles ranks second all-time in program history.
  • The Scots also set a record for RBIs in a season, posting 10 to push their season total to 224. The old record was 222, set in 2016.
  • Logan Huff tallied two hits to push his season total to 52, third-best in program history. 
  • Eric Frontzak earned his eighth victory of the season, reliving starter Josh Riggs in the seventh inning. Frontzak becomes one of four players in program history to win eight or more games in a single season.
  • Frontzak also picked up his 17th career victory, moving him into fourth place on the career wins chart. 
  • Vann Acker extended his hitting streak to four games, while Pete Carravallah has recorded a hit in his last six appearances.
  • Matt Minaudo has tallied a hit in 10 of his last 11 games, while Max Trucks has posted a hit in six of his last seven contests. Logan Huff has hit in six of his last seven games, while Jordan Anstandig has posted a hit in four of his last five outings. 
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