Baseball Sweeps Albion in Dramatic Fashion, Clinches Spot In MIAA Tournament

The Hope College baseball team swept a Friday afternoon doubleheader against Albion, winning the first game 14-4 and coming back to win the second game 6-5 in dramatic, walk-off fashion.

The Flying Dutchmen had previously split the first doubleheader with the Britons on Wednesday.

The wins moved the team's record to 22-14 overall, with a 15-9 mark in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play. Hope, which is in third place, clinched a MIAA Tournament berth after league play concluded over the weekend.

In game one, the Flying Dutchmen rode a dominant offensive showing to victory. The team finished with fourteen runs on eleven hits. Hope scored multiple runs in all of the first four innings to open the game.

The offense was led by Jordon Fairchild of Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge) who scored three runs, Danny Carrasco of Grandville, Michigan (Calvin Christian) who had four RBIs, and Mason Opple of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) who had three RBIs. All Hope starters reached base safely at least once.

On the mound, it was sophomore lefty Nick Holt of Muskegon, Michigan (Catholic Central) who pitched the entire seven-inning game, allowing three earned runs while striking out three. The win moves Holt's record to 5-2 on the season.

In game two, Hope proved its resilience, scoring vital runs in both the 9th and 10th innings before delivering the knock-out blow in the bottom of the 11th. Nick Holt showed off his versatility, knocking in Nick Lepore of Clinton Township, Michigan (De La Salle) with a single up the middle for the game-winning run in the final inning.

Offensively, Hope was led by JP Batts of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake), who had four hits, two of them for extra bases, and scored a run. 

Matt VanDyken of Zeeland, Michigan (East) and Connor Jackson of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) combined on the mound to keep the Albion offense at bay and the Flying Dutchmen offense within striking distance all game.

The team will take a short break as the players embark on exam week, and will return to the diamond on Friday, May 5th, when they take on the first-place Adrian Bulldogs in a key home doubleheader. Game one is scheduled for 2:00PM. 

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