March 24, 2013
CANTON, Ohio - The Grand Valley State baseball team got an all-around effort on Sunday (Mar. 24), beating Malone 9-3 in the final contest of a three-game series against the Pioneers. The offense tallied 11 hits, while the pitching staff struck out 12 batters in the win.
The win moves the Lakers to 9-7 on the year and 3-0 in GLIAC play. Malone is now 7-9 overall with an 0-3 mark in the conference.
For the second straight game, GVSU got on the board in the first inning to put early pressure on. Sophomore Mike Nadratowski led the game off with a bunt single, then stole second. Senior Chris Rudenga, who now has seven doubles among his 19 hits, then doubled him in to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead only two batters in to the game. After Rudenga stole third with one out, sophomore Jamie Potts hit a two-out RBI single in to center field to make it a 2-0 game.
In the top of the second, junior Taylor Banks led off with a single, then moved to second when sophomore Jesse Abel laid down a sacrifice bunt that ended up being an error on the first baseman, putting two on with nobody out. Another sacrifice bunt moved both runners in to scoring position and an RBI groundout by Nadratowski had the Lakers up 3-0.
Malone got one back in the bottom of the second, coaxing a bases loaded walk to make it 3-1.
The Lakers were able to effectively put the game away in the top of the fourth with another four-run inning, their third of the series. Senior Stephen Claypool reached on an error and then after Banks hit in to what appeared to be a double play, the throw from third to second went awry, allowing Claypool to move to third and Banks in to second with still nobody out. After a hit by pitch from Abel, Junior Stuart Eisler made it count, doubling in to the left field gap to score two, making it 5-1 and having two runners in scoring position with still nobody out. Nadratowski then brought both runners in with a two-RBI single to left field, pushing the lead out to 7-1.
GVSU would put single tallies up in the top of the sixth with a Potts RBI single and in the seventh with a bases loaded walk by Rudenga to make it 9-1.
Malone would scratch across single runs in both the bottom of the eighth and bottom of the ninth, though both runs went as unearned, as GVSU went on to win 9-3.
The offense was led by Nadratowski, who went 3-for-4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk and two stolen bases. Potts also went 3-for-4, driving in two. Rudenga was 1-for-4 with a run, two RBI and a walk, while Abel officially was 0-for-0, but scored twice, drew two walks and was hit by a pitch, reaching on all four of his plate appearances without registering a hit.
Junior starting pitcher Chris Ward struggled on the mound, allowing five walks, three hits and one run in only 2.1 innings of work. He struck out four.
The win went to junior Sean Clancy (2-2), who came on in relief and threw 3.2 shutout innings, allowing only two hits with four strikeouts. Freshman Skylar Hoke had a scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout, while junior Dan Saier and senior Kyle Zegarac each threw one inning, allowing one hit and one unearned run.
The Lakers are scheduled to have their home opener this Wednesday (Mar. 27) against Hillsdale at 2 p.m. for a single nine-inning contest. Weather may force the postponement or a move in venue. Any updates will be on gvsulakers.com.