by Eva Dean Folkert
The Hope College baseball team suffered two losses at league-leader Adrian College (31-6 overall, 23-3 in MIAA) on Friday. The Flying Dutchmen lost the twinbill, 5-2 and 10-6, to the Bulldogs.
Despite the losses that dropped Hope to 28-8 overall and 18-8 in the league, the Flying Dutchmen have secured second place in the MIAA after Albion College split its doubleheader at Trine University on Friday. That means the Flying Dutchmen will be the second seed in next week's MIAA Tournament and will host a nine-inning game on Wednesday, May 8 at Boeve Stadium.
In Friday's Game 1, Hope got on the board first with a first-inning run manufactured solely by centerfielder Evan Maday of Grand Rapids (East Kentwood HS), pictured immediate right. The sophomore reached first on a single, then stole both second and third and scored after the Adrian catcher committed a throwing error trying to get the Hope speedster out at third.
Maday leads the MIAA with 26 stolen bases.
Hope's other run in the first game was scored off the bat of second baseman Jordon Fairchild of Muskegon (Oakridge HS), pictured far right, who slugged a solo homerun to right field. The homer was the senior's league-leading ninth this season.
Sophomore starting pitcher Sean Hoey of Holland (West Ottawa HS) took the loss, just his second this season to his four wins. Hoey went 5 2/3 innings while giving up four hits, five earned runs, six walks and striking out four.
In Game 2, the Flying Dutchmen had to play catch-up after the Bulldogs went up 4-0 in the bottom of the first. Hope got three runs of its own in the top of the fourth, coming on an RBI fielder's choice by sopohomore Evan Becker of Rochester (Stoney Creek HS) that scored sophomore Brant Kym of Libertyville, Illinois (Libertyville HS) and later a two-run single by Fairchild that got both Becker and senior Nick Lepore of Clinton Township (De La Salle HS) across home plate.
Adrian came back with a five-run fourth, making it a 9-3 game.
Two innings later, Hope's Becker, pictured left, got on with a single in the sixth and stole second, third and home for the Flying Dutchmen's fourth run of the game.
By the top of the ninth and down 10-4, Hope attempted a rally when Becker again generated Hope offense with 2 RBIs off a left field single that drove Kym and sophomore Ted Eppinga of Saline (Saline HS) home. That would be the end of the game's scoring, though, as the Flying Dutchmen left two on base at the final out.
Starting pitcher Shane Hykin of Ada (Forest Hills Northern HS) took the loss on the mound after going 3 2/3 innings. The freshman now has a 3-1 record.
Hope plays its final regular-season doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, May 4, hosting Adrian at 1 p.m. at Boeve Stadium.