ALMA, Mich. – The Olivet College baseball team split a doubleheader against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) rival Alma College this afternoon at Klenk Park in Alma. Behind a complete game shutout pitching performance by freshman Aaron Gillespie, the Comets won the opener, 1-0. The Scots salvaged the split by scoring two runs in the eighth to win the nightcap, 5-4.
Final Scores: Olivet 1, Alma 0; Alma 5, Olivet 4
Location: Klenk Park; Alma, Mich.
Records: Alma 13-25 overall, 11-15 MIAA; Olivet 8-30 overall, 5-21 MIAA
HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME ONE)
- The Comets took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Freshman Dillon Mitchell led off the frame with the first Comet hit of the game. He advanced to second on a ground out and came around to score on freshman Alex Parthum's single into left field.
- In the bottom of the seventh, the Scots loaded the bases with one out. Olivet escaped the jam by getting the second out at the plate and a ground out for the third out.
FOR THE COMETS
- Gillespie gave up seven hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter, while throwing 93 total pitches.
- Olivet had only four hits – a triple by senior Austin Cleaver, a single by senior Andrew Dayfield and the two aforementioned hits in the third inning.
- Defensively, Dayfield threw out a runner trying to steal second base and picked-off a runner at first base.
FOR THE SCOTS
- Greg Goffee notched two hits.
- Five others each had one, and all seven hits for the Alma were singles.
- Alex Valasek allowed the run in his own complete game pitching performance. He struck out six and walked one.
HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME TWO)
- The Comets wasted no time in taking a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top half of the first inning. Cleaver lined the first pitch of the game up the middle for a single. He went to second on a passed ball and crossed the plate on Gillespie's double down the left field line. Gillespie advanced to third base on foul out before scoring on a double the right-center filed gap by sophomore Gary Tompkins III.
- The Scots responded with two runs in their half of the second inning to level the score at 2-2.
- Olivet grabbed the lead back, 4-2, in the third inning. Cleaver drew a walk on a full count and went to third on Gillespie's double. Both runners came around to score on Parthum's double.
- Alma got one run back in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
- In the eighth, the Scots pushed across two runs to take a 5-4 lead. The first two batters reached on a walk and hit by pitch to start the eighth inning. A passed ball moved them both up a base. After an out was recorded, another batter was hit to load the bases. Dayfield came into the game to pitch for the Comets. He struck out Adam Thoryk on a called third strike before an infield single by Max Trucks brought in the tying run. Ben Finzel drew a walk to plate the go-ahead run. A fly out ended the inning.
- The Comets were sent down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
FOR THE COMETS
- Olivet totaled 10 hits in the game.
- Gillespie was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
- Tompkins III and junior Aiden Holliday each had two hits, including a double.
- Holliday started on the mound and lasted four innings. He gave up three runs on nine hits, but did not factor in the decision.
- Junior Joseph Crosby suffered the loss after giving two runs on one hit in 3.1 innings.
FOR THE SCOTS
- Seven of nine starters recorded a hit.
- Alex Peczynski batted 3-for-4.
- Trucks, Jerome Jackson and Vann Acker tallied two hits apiece.
- Acker scored two runs.
- Mike Mallory threw all nine innings to earn the win.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
- With his triple in game one, Cleaver broke the single-season school record with his fifth three-bagger in 2017. The previous record was four by Kevin Staniszewski in 1990, Jimmy Worley in 2000, Chris Shelhart in 2006 and Erik McCloud in 2009.
- Gillepsie now has 14 doubles this season to tie the single-season mark. Also hitting 14 two-baggers were Beau Locker in 2003, Brandon Goodman in both 2008 and 2009, and Austin Clark in 2012.
- Gillespie also has 58 hits in 2017, which is the fourth-most in school history. The record is 62 by Locker in 2003. His 84 total bases is tied for fifth-most.
- Olivet wraps-up its season tomorrow with a home doubleheader against the Scots. First pitch from game one of the doubleheader at the Cutler Athletic Complex is scheduled for 1 p.m.