March 27, 2013
HILLSDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State baseball team earned a split in a doubleheader against Hillsdale on Wednesday (Mar. 27), dropping game one 6-5 before coming back to take the nightcap by a 3-1 score in extra innings.
The split leaves the Lakers at 10-8 overall on the year with a 4-1 mark in the GLIAC. Hillsdale is now 10-8 with a 3-2 mark in the conference.
As has been a theme all year, the Lakers got started quickly in the opening game of the doubleheader, putting up two runs in the top of the first off a two-out home run from junior Giancarlo Brugnoni, his sixth of the year. The long ball brought in sophomore Mike Nadratowski, who had walked to lead off the game.
In the top of the third, the Lakers put together a two-out rally, with sophomore Kevin Zak lacing a two-out double to begin the rally. After Brugnoni was intentionally walked, sophomore Jamie Potts loaded the bases by coaxing a walk off his own. Senior Stephen Claypool capitalized, hitting a bases loaded single through the left side to make it a 3-0 game.
The Lakers added another run in the top of the fifth. Brugnoni was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second on a Claypool two-out single. Junior Taylor Banks then doubled Brugnoni in to make it a 4-0 lead.
Hillsdale began their comeback in the bottom of the fifth, however. The Chargers used two RBI singles, a sacrifice bunt for an RBI and a sacrifice fly to quickly erase the four-run GVSU lead and tie the game 4-4 after five innings.
The Chargers kept the momentum going in the bottom of the sixth, getting a bases loaded double to take a 6-4 lead.
GVSU tried making a two-out comeback in the top of the seventh. Potts singled in to center field and then came home on a Claypool RBI double in to the right field gap. A groundout to third would end the threat and the Lakers' chances at tying the game, however, ending in a 6-5 loss.
Claypool led the offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and his fifth double of the season, while Brugnoni finished 1-for-2 with two runs, two RBI and a walk, including his sixth homer of the year.
Junior Cody Westerhuis worked four innings as the starter, allowing four hits, four runs and three walks, while striking out five. Junior Sean Clancy (2-3) took the loss in relief, surrendering three hits and two runs in two innings of work.
The scoring was at a premium in game two, though Hillsdale was able to push one across in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout.
GVSU was held scoreless until the top of the fourth, when Zak tripled and then was brought in to score on an RBI single by Brugnoni.
In the bottom of the seventh, Hillsdale got a one-out walk, but was cleared off the basepaths when the runner was picked off to help send the game in to extra innings tied 1-1.
The Lakers were able to break through in the top of the ninth, getting a lead-off single from Zak and then having Brugnoni get hit by a pitch while attempting to bunt. With two on and nobody out, Potts laid down a bunt but the fielder attempted to retire Zak at third, who slid in safely to load the bases with nobody out.
After a pitching change, Hillsdale got a foul pop-up for out number one, but was unable to escape the inning unscathed. Sophomore Jesse Abel came to the plate to pinch-hit and deposited a two-run single in to right center field to break the deadlock, putting the Lakers up 3-1.
Senior Brad Zambron came on in the bottom of the ninth and after surrendering a lead-off walk, got the next three outs including two strikeouts looking to nail down his fourth save of the season, the 30th of his career, and now sits only two saves behind the NCAA Division II career leader.
Zak led the offense in the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with two runs and his first triple of the year. Brugnoni finished 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Abel's pinch-hit heroics gave him a line of 1-for-1 with two RBI.
Senior Anthony Campanella (3-1) pitched like an ace again, working eight innings, allowing only six hits and one run while striking out three.
GVSU will be back on the field this Friday (Mar. 29) and Saturday (Mar. 30) for a three-game series at Findlay. The doubleheader on Friday is slated to begin at 1 p.m., while the single nine-inning contest on Saturday is scheduled for noon.