by Alan Babbitt
Right fielder Mason Opple tied the Hope College Baseball career runs batted in record during a 5-3 loss to Adrian College during the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday.
The junior from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS), pictured, equaled Mike VanBeek's 2000-03 total of 119 on a two-run single in the bottom of the third inning.
Adrian answered with a go-ahead, three-run rally in the sixth to advance to the championship round.
Hope (30-10 overall) will play Alma College in a 12 p.m. consolation game on Friday, May 10. The winner advances to face Adrian at 3 p.m.
Opple gave the Flying Dutchmen a 2-0 lead when he singled to center to knock in second baseman Jordon Fairchild of Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge) and center fielder Evan Maday of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Kentwood).
Adrian right fielder Jason Croci put the Bulldogs ahead 3-2 with a two-run triple in the sixth. He then scored on a sacrifice fly.
Designated hitter Nick Lepore of Clinton Township, Michigan (Warren De La Salle) cut Adrian's lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth when his sacrifice fly scored Opple.
Hope could not get a runner past second over the past three innings.