by Alan Babbitt
Second baseman Jordon Fairchild delivered a memorable Senior Day blast for the Hope College baseball team.
The senior from Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge HS) hit a two-out, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Flying Dutchmen a 4-3 Game 1 victory against MIAA champion Adrian College on Saturday at Boeve Stadium.
Hope split the doubleheader after losing Game 2, 13-9, in seven innings to the 11th-ranked Bulldogs.
Photo of Hope baseball seniors with their parents by Carol Fritz
The Flying Dutchmen finished the regular season with a 29-9 overall record and a second-place 19-9 mark in MIAA play.
The 29 wins are the most in team history - surpassing the 28 wins in both 2010 and 2002.
Hope will be the No. 2 seed for next week's MIAA Tournament. The Flying Dutchmen will open at home with a first-round game against third-seeded Albion College on Wednesday, May 8. The double-elimination tournament then moves to top-seeded Adrian College for games on Thursday-Friday, May 9-10.
In Game 1 against Adrian, Fairchild hit Hope's third home run of the game. He now has 10 home runs this season and one is off the team record shared by B.J. Maas (2003) and Chad Ruby (2008).
Shortstop Brant Kym of Libertyville, Illinois (Libertyville) and first baseman Ted Eppinga of Saline, Michigan (Saline) both homered during the second inning. It was Kym's first of the season and Eppinga's eighth.
Catcher Trace Slancik of Scotts, Michigan (Vicksburg) tied the score at 3-3 with a fifth-inning RBI double.
Winning pitcher CJ Otteman of Zeeland, Michigan (Zeeland East) tossed five innings of scoreless relief. Otteman (6-1) struck out six while allowing two hits and issuing two walks.
In Game 2, Hope could not overcome a four-run fifth and a six-run sixth that gave Adrian (32-7, 24-4 MIAA) a 12-4 lead.
Eppinga hit a two-run homer in the sixth for his ninth of the season.
Eppinga joined Fairchild in a group of nine Flying Dutchmen who have homered at least nine times during a single season.
Kym finished with three runs batted in for Hope. Fairchild had a two-run double.