Zak Provides Heroic Pinch-Hit Grandslam to Rally Spartans Past Adrian in Mideast Regional

Peter Zack congratulated by teammates after hitting the game-winning pinch-hit grandslam.
Peter Zack congratulated by teammates after hitting the game-winning pinch-hit grandslam.

MARIETTA, Ohio – Junior catcher Peter Zak (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) hit a pinch-hit grandslam in the ninth inning to lead the Case Western Reserve University baseball team to a 5-4 victory versus Adrian College (Mich.) in the first NCAA Tournament game in Spartan program history on Wednesday, May 18 at Don Schaly Stadium.

The No. 6-seeded Spartans (31-13 overall) continue Mideast Regional action tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and will play the winner of the Penn State-Altoona University versus Heidelberg University game which will be played later today. Adrian (31-10) will play the loser of that game at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Zak's homerun was just his second of the season and came with the Spartans trailing 4-1 with one out in the top of the ninth inning.

Sophomore lefthander Jamie Hora (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg) overcame a three-run third inning to keep the Spartans in the game. In all, Hora (8-3) tossed his team-best sixth complete game and allowed four earned runs on 13 hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

Adrian got three runs in the third with an RBI single by Kyle Strawn and a two-run single by Brian Bilius. The Spartans finally broke through against Bulldog starter Ryan Domschot in the top of the eighth when senior third baseman and reigning University Athletic Association Player of the Year Chad Mullins (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) drilled an RBI single to left, plating junior leftfielder Jimmy Abed (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake).

The Bulldogs picked up an RBI double from Joe Dubina in their half of the eighth to make the score 4-1 and seemed to have the game well in hand.

But, in the ninth, sophomore first baseman Brett Ossola (Potomac, MD/Bullis School) led off with a four-pitch walk which led to Domschot being removed from the game. Junior second baseman Bobby Marko (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Brush) then singled to put two runners on. After a strikeout, senior catcher Steve Bills (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) walked to load the bases before Zak stepped to the plate and blasted the game-winning grand slam to left center.

For the game, Marko was 3-for-4, while Ossola and Abed were each 1-for-3.