WASHINGTON, Pa. – No. 8/9 Shenandoah University opened up the 2015 NCAA Mideast Regional Wednesday with a 5-1 victory over Adrian (Mich.).
The Hornets (28-8-1) kept their record perfect in opening games of NCAA Regionals, now at 7-0, with the win over Adrian (33-11).
The victory, which was also the 350th of skipper Kevin Anderson's SU career, sends Shenandoah into a 6:30 Thursday contest against the winner of third-seeded Heidelberg and fourth-seeded La Roche.
Shenandoah, which trailed after Adrian struck first with Jeff Gertley solo HR to right in the second, tied it in the fifth before taking the lead for good in the seventh.
The Hornets banged out 10 hits against AC starter Eric Schmidt (9-2) to earn the victory; junior Billy Arens had what proved to be the game-winning RBI in that fateful seventh with a double to left to score Daniel Freshley from third.
Freshley led off with a single to right, was sacrificed to second and moved to third on a Joe Coleman groundout to second.
He easily trotted home as Arens ripped his double into the corner in left on a 1-1 changeup.
"He (Schmidt) is a very good pitcher," Arens said. "I was looking for something outside, and I swung over the (first pitch) changeup, so he doubled-down and came back with another.
"I was still looking outside and I was able to put a better swing on it. I got a little lucky."
Now staked to the one-run lead, junior Darrell Thompson (7-1) worked through a leadoff walk in the bottom of the frame with a groundout and a strikeout looking following a sacrifice bunt.
Thompson allowed one run, the Gertley solo HR, on seven hits and three walks in 7.0 innings of work.
Thompson struck out five before turning it over to Ryan Mossman to start the eighth.
"Coach (Anderson) called great pitches and all I had to do was hit the spots," Thompson said.
"They were a good hitting team."
Mossman gave up just one hit, with one out in the ninth, to earn his fourth save of the season.
After Gertley gave the Bulldogs the lead with the solo HR over the 325-sign in right field on a 3-2 fastball, SU brought the game back to even as Freshley led of the fifth with a single to right, was sacrificed to second and scored on a Coleman double down the left field line.
In the sixth, the defense stepped up to prevent Adrian's second run. Miccoy Drzewiecki led off a double to right center and attempted to score on a single to left.
Junior Ricky Pardo charged on the ball and threw a perfect strike to Freshley behind the plate, where the senior applied the tag on Drzewiecki three feet up the line.
Shenandoah added one in the eighth and two in the ninth to provide the final margin of victory.
Freshley led the offense with three hits in four at-bats with Corbin Lucas and Coleman both adding two.
For Lucas, the 2 for 5 day came in his first action since March 12.
"This was huge for us to get this opening win," Anderson said. "If you lose the first one, you have to play perfect baseball the rest of the way.
"All the credit goes to the kids. Every kid we started today is a Dean's List student, and we are so proud of them."