April 6, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Grand Valley State baseball team got two solid pitching performances on Saturday (Apr. 6) afternoon, resulting in a pair of victories over Ohio Dominican. The Lakers took game one by a 4-1 score, surrendering only two hits, then won game two 6-3 without giving up an earned run.
The pair of victories moves the Lakers to 16-10 on the season with a 10-3 mark in the GLIAC, while the Panthers fall to 11-16 overall with a 7-6 record in the conference.
The opener was a stalwart up to the fourth inning when Ohio Dominican broke through. Despite being held hitless for the first three innings, the Panthers got a lead-off double in the bottom of the fourth that turned in to a 1-0 lead after a sacrifice bunt and RBI groundout.
As the Lakers have done all season long, they answered in the next half-inning. In the top of the fifth, senior Stephen Claypool led off with a single and then moved to second on a groundout. Then, with two outs, consecutive doubles by junior Giancarlo Brugnoni and sophomore Jesse Abel down the left field line put the Lakers up 2-1.
GVSU extended the lead in the top of the sixth as junior Taylor Banks led off with a single back up the middle, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a single by sophomore Mike Nadratowski put runners on the corners, a wild pitch brought home the third run and moved Nadratowski in to scoring position. A two-out single by sophomore Kevin Zak in to center field brought Nadratowski across the plate and the Lakers had a 4-1 lead.
That would be all senior pitcher Kyle Teague (4-0) needed, as Teague went the distance in the game, allowing only two hits and one run with seven strikeouts to earn the victory.
The offense had seven hits, all of which were by different Lakers.Zak and Brugnoni each went 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Brugnoni also scored once. Abel finished 1-for-2 with an RBI, a walk and his second double of the year, while Banks reached base every time up, going 1-for-1 with a run scored and three walks. Nadratowski and Claypool each went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk.
The second game saw a consistent threat from the Lakers, with GVSU scoring in five of the seven innings, including tallying single runs in each of the first four innings.
Nadratowski was the spark plug behind the first run in the top of the first inning. He laid down a bunt single to lead off the game, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and was brought home on an RBI single in to center field by Zak to make it 1-0.
In the top of the second, Abel led off with a double to the left field gap and moved to third on a single by senior Chris Rudenga. While it didn't result in an RBI, Banks then came up and ground in to a double play, but it was enough to bring Abel home and make it a 2-0 game.
In the third, Claypool worked a one-out walk and then stole second before being brought home on an RBI single in to right field by Brugnoni as the Lakers led 3-0.
It was another leadoff hit in the top of the fourth for the Lakers, this time a single by Rudenga. A sacrifice bunt moved him in to scoring position and Rudenga moved to third on a groundout. Sophomore Jamie Potts then got an infield single to short, allowing Rudenga to score and put GVSU up 4-0.
Ohio Dominican didn't lay down, however, nearly erasing the lead in the bottom of the fourth. The first two hitters reached, first via a single and then an error. After getting a flyout, an RBI single through the right side put runners on the corners. After a walk loaded the bases with one out, an RBI groundout cut the lead to 4-2. The next hitter then singled through the left side of the infield and after one run scored to make it a 4-3 game, Potts threw out the tying run at the plate to end the inning with GVSU still up, 4-3.
The Lakers got a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth to put the game away. Banks led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a one-out single from Potts. Nadratowski then laced an RBI single up the middle to make it 5-3 and after a pitching change, Claypool walked to load the bases and Zak lifted a sacrifice fly in to right field, giving GVSU a 6-3 advantage.
Freshman Patrick Kelly (3-2) got the win on the mound, needing only 78 pitches to traverse seven innings, allowing seven hits and no earned runs.
Nadratowski and Potts both had two hits, one run and one RBI in the game. Rudenga went 2-for-4 with a run, while Zak went 1-for-3 with two RBI and Brugnoni was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Abel went 1-for-3 with a run scored, a walk and his second double of the day.
The Lakers and Panthers will finish up the three-game series on Sunday (Apr. 7) at 12 p.m. with a single nine-inning contest in Columbus.