Grand Rapids, Mich. –The Alma College Baseball team split a road doubleheader at Calvin College Friday. The Scots won the first game, 3-2, with the Knights coming out victorious in extra innings by a score of 2-1.
Senior Jordan Masters (Waterford, Mich. / Kettering) picked up the win in game one by pitching 5.1 innings while giving up one earned run and only allowing one walk. Freshman Clay Crouterfield (Standish, Mich. / Standish-Sterling) then stepped up to the mound in game two giving up zero earned runs over seven innings.
Alma heads into its final two games with a 17-21 overall record and a 13-13 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. They sit in the final playoff position in fourth place while Calvin is fifth in the league with a 11-15 record in the MIAA and 16-21 on the year.
How It Happened
Game One: Alma 3, Calvin 2
- Masters was mastering the Calvin offense the first time through the order giving up only one walk and zero hits. The Knights picked up their first hit on a double in the third and then were able to cash in the first run of the game on the next at-bat. Masters faced runners at the corners with two outs in the inning but forced a foul out to keep it a one run game.
- Alma broke through in the fifth with some small ball. Freshman left fielder Joshua Robinson (Dewitt, Mich. / Dewitt) led off the frame with a walk and then was moved to second on a single by junior second baseman Carter Sanderson (Ilderton, Ont. / Central Secondary School). Junior right fielder Matt Scanzano (Oakville, Ont. / De La Salle College Oaklands) then laid down a bunt that the Knights' first baseman had a throwing error on, allowing both Robinson and Sanderson come across home plate to give the Scots a 2-1 lead.
- The Scots kept their rally going in the fifth with still no outs when junior catcher Jaret Koin (Sterling, Mich. / Standish-Sterling) reached on a bunt, sending Scanzano to third. Alma would then pull off a double steal with Scanzano scoring to make it 3-1.
- Alma's righty got some help from his defense in the bottom of the fifth with two runners on as they turned a double play to end the inning. After giving up a one out single in the sixth, the senior would be pulled from the game. That runner would later score in the inning on two out error to cut the lead to one.
- Junior Travis Moyer (Portland, Mich. / St. Patrick) was called upon to finish the job in the seventh. He made quick work of it with forcing a ground out back to the mound and ending the game on back-to-back strikeouts to earn his first save as a Scot.
Game Two: Calvin 2, Alma 1 (11 Innings)
- The Knights scored a run in the first inning, Crouterfield then settled in retiring eight of the next nine batters.
- Alma picked up their lone run of the game in the fourth. Junior shortstop Zach Schirmer (Bay City, Mich. / Bay City Western) worked a one out walk and then reached third on a double down the right field line by junior first baseman Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich. / Mt. Pleasant). Junior third baseman Logan Huff (Johannesburg, Mich. / Johanessburg-Lewiston) would drive Schirmer home on a sacrifice fly to center field.
- Crouterfield stayed in command, not giving up a hit in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Alma bullpen took over from there with freshman Ty Sobczak (Petoskey, Mich. / Petoskey) pitching a scoreless eighth. Senior Bailey O'Keefe (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) worked out of a one out and runners on first and second situation in the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
- The Scots took advantage of some errors and a walk to have runners at second and third in the tenth with two outs. But Alma could not cash in any runs as the game stayed tied. Calvin hit a trio of singles in the eleventh to score the winning run in walk off fashion.
- Masters' start in game one was the longest outing of his college career. The senior has already pitching more innings this season than he did his first three years combined.
- Over his last two starts, Crouterfield has allowed only one earned run through 12.2 innings pitched.
- Koin and Sanderson each picked up a hit in both games. Koin has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games while Sanderson has nine hits over the last seven. The junior catcher also had two stolen bases in game two to extend his team-high to 12 on the year.
The Scots will host the Knights for a doubleheader on Saturday at Klenk Park with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. In between the first and second game the 2019 senior class will be honored. Alma can clinch a spot in the MIAA postseason tournament with two wins tomorrow as sixth place Kalamazoo College is still in contention with four games still left on their schedule.