Adrian, Mich. – The Alma College baseball team defeated the Albion College Britons, 8-7, in the fourth game of the MIAA Tournament. The Scots advance to the next round while the Britons have been eliminated from the postseason.
Junior second baseman Carter Sanderson (Ilderton, Ont. / Central Secondary School) went 3-for-5 while driving in three runs and scoring one of his own on the day. Freshman Clay Crouterfield (Standish, Mich. / Standish-Sterling Central) picked up the win by pitching three scoreless and hitless innings out of the bullpen. Junior Travis Moyer (St. Patrick / Portland) got the final two outs of the game to earn the save.
How It Happened
- Albion was able to strike first with a single and a triple to lead things off in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Alma would respond with junior first baseman Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich. / Mt. Pleasant) getting on with a single to start the second. Sanderson would bring home on a two-out hit to cut the Britons lead in half.
- After the Britons tacked on a run in the third, the Scots' offense woke up in the fourth. With runners on first and third with one out, freshman Joshua Robinson (Dewitt, Mich. / Dewitt) hit a slow grounder to the second baseman who bobbled the ball allowing Robinson to reach safely while senior right fielder Jordan Anstandig (West Bloomfield, Mich. / Walled Lake Northern) came across home plate.
- Freshman right fielder Noah Hamilton (Fowler, Mich. / Fowler) kept the rally going with a smack to the left center gap for his first extra base hit of his career. Sanderson scored on the play to tie the game at three. Junior catcher Jaret Koin then got a hit up the middle to score Robinson. Hamilton looked to give Alma a two-run lead but he was thrown out at the plate.
- The runs kept coming as in the bottom of the fourth, the Britons scored two to take back the lead and were primed to score more with bases loaded and only one out. Freshman Ty Sobczak (Petoskey, Mich. / Petoskey) came out of the bullpen and struck out the first batter he faced and forced a ground out back to the mound to escape the jam.
- Sanderson stepped to the dish in the fifth with two runners on and brought them both home with a single to left field to make it 6-5 Scots. Sobczak faced another bases loaded jam in the bottom half. A heads up play by junior third baseman Logan Huff, (Johannesburg, Mich. / Johannesburg-Lewiston) where he charged a slow grounder and threw out the lead runner at home, kept the lead intact. Sobczak then force a fly out to end the inning.
- The rain that was coming down for most of the game started to have an impact in the bottom of the sixth. After a short delay, the Britons plated two runs on a double to take a 7-6 lead. A longer delay would occur after that at-bat. Once it was over, Crouterfield took the mound and started his outing with a fly out and a strikeout to keep it a one-run ballgame.
- Koin led off the eighth with a drive down the left field line for a double. Junior center fielder Pete Carravallah (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth) came up next and put down a bunt that he reached safely on while Koin advanced to third. Trucks would bring home Koin on a sacrifice fly to tie the game setting up Huff to step into the box with two outs and Carravallah as the go-ahead run in scoring position at second base. The Scots' RBIs leader drilled one past the diving shortstop as Carravallah was given the stop sign to stay at third but a miscue by the Britons left fielder allowed the Alma junior to score to put the Scots back on top.
- In the ninth, Crouterfield got the first man out but after a walk, Moyer was brought in to nail the down the win. The Portland native first forced a fly out. After a passed ball allowed the tying run to reach second, Moyer stuck out the final batter looking on a 3-2 count to clinch Alma's first win in this year's conference tournament.
- There were six lead changes in total throughout the game. After the Scots made it a 2-1 game in the top of the second, neither team would lead by more than one the rest of the way.
- Koin had two hits with one RBI and one run scored. His 53 hits on the season are tied for third most by a Scot in a single year while his 80 total bases this season are the second most in program history. He also extended his hit streak to seven games.
- Trucks went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. The Mt. Pleasant native has been on a tear as of late going nine-for-13 in the last three games.
- Sanderson's three RBI was a new career-high in single game for the second baseman.
- Carravallah's run gave him 37 this season. The only player in program history to score more in one year is Koin who has 41 this year.
- Crouterfield continues his run of great pitching for Alma. The freshman has not given up an earned run in his last 13 innings on the mound.
- Since coming into the tournament with two career hits, Hamilton has gone 3-for-9 with two RBI and one run in the two postseason games so far.
The Scots will face Hope College at 12 p.m. on Friday. The winner will advance to the championship round to take on the host Adrian College for a scheduled 3 p.m. start time on Friday. If the Alma/Hope winner defeats the Bulldogs it will force a winner-take-all game on Saturday at 12 p.m.