April 7, 2012
University Center, Mich. - The #21 Grand Valley State baseball team picked up an important doubleheader sweep of GLIAC rival Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Apr. 7), taking game one 9-6 and game two 6-4. In the nightcap, sophomore Giancarlo Brugnoni went deep twice for the second time in his career.
In game one, the Lakers got the bats going early, putting up a single tally in the top of the first. Senior Steve Anderson hit a two-out single back up the middle to score freshman Mike Nadratowski from third, who had singled to lead off the game.
The Cardinals tied the game up at one in the bottom of the third on an RBI single of their own, but GVSU responded in a big way in the top of the fourth.
Anderson led off the frame with a walk and the Lakers put runners at second and third with nobody on with a double by senior Jared Cowan, his eighth of the year. A sacrifice fly by senior Derrik Strzalkowski brought in Anderson to give the lead back to the Lakers 2-1, but Cowan was retired trying to advance to third. With the bases empty and two out, junior Chris Rudenga singled and went to second on a passed ball. Brugnoni then singled him in to begin his big day and make it a 3-1 game. Two more runs came in for the Lakers off the bat of Nadratowski and with the help of an outfield error, giving the Lakers a 5-1 lead.
The Cardinals threatened in the bottom half of the fourth, bringing one run in and loading the bases with one out, but senior starter Cory Baker got two big strikeouts to end the inning, keeping a 5-2 lead in tact.
The Lakers responded yet again, this time with two runs in the top of the fifth courtesy of a passed ball and an RBI single from Rudenga to make it 7-2.
GVSU pushed two more runs across in the top of the seventh to make it 9-2, mostly thanks to multiple Cardinal errors in the inning. SVSU mounted a small comeback in the bottom of the seventh, bringing four runs in via an RBI single and a bases clearing double. However, the Lakers would nail the 9-6 victory down.
Baker (4-1) got the victory, striking out seven in five innings of work with only four hits and two runs allowed.
On offense, Nadratowski and Cowan each went 2-for-4 with a run scored, with Nadratowski also bringing in one. Rudenga finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Anderson went 1-for-3 with two runs, an RBI and a walk. Strzalkowski and Brugnoni each contributed an RBI as well.
Janes (0-1) took the loss for the Cardinals, surrendering five hits and four earned runs in 3.2 innings of work.
It was more of the same for the Lakers in game two as GVSU jumped out on top yet again. In the top of the second, Rudenga laced a one-out single up the middle and didn't have to run much further than that as Brugnoni went deep to left field to give the Lakers an early 2-0 advantage.
The Lakers loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the third, pushing one across on a sacrifice fly from Cowan that scored senior Brian Robinson to make it a 3-0 game.
The Cardinals brought two runs of their own in during the bottom of the third. An RBI single and a ground out that brought in a run at the cost of a double play made it a 3-2 game.
GVSU got those runs back and more in the top of the sixth. Brugnoni led off the inning with his second long ball of the game, the second time he has went deep twice in one game for his career. Freshman Mitchell Kozlowski kept things going with a one-out single and moved to third on a Nadratowski double to right field. Robinson followed with yet another double, bringing in both runners to push the lead to 6-2.
The Cardinals cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth with a two-RBI single but that would be as close as SVSU would come. Junior Brad Zambron came in to work a scoreless seventh, earning his seventh save of the season in the 6-4 victory.
Junior Anthony Campanella (3-1) got the victory, allowing seven hits and four runs in six innings with five strikeouts. Coulter (4-1) took the loss on the other side, allowing 10 hits and six runs in six innings of work for the Cardinals.
Brugnoni led the offense in a big way, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, all courtesy of his two roundtrippers to give him six home runs on the season. Robinson went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Nadratowski and Cowan each went 2-for-3, Nadratowski scoring once and Cowan driving one in. Rudenga and Kozlowski both went 1-for-3 with a run scored, as well.
Brugnoni also went deep twice on April 17th, 2011 at Tiffin. He now has the last two multi-home run games by GVSU.
The sweep was of major importance for GVSU as it keeps the Lakers within two games of GLIAC leaders Wayne State (10-4) in the conference race. GVSU now sits at 18-10 overall with an 8-6 mark in the GLIAC. The sweep results in SVSU falling to 12-13 overall with a 9-5 record in the conference.
The Lakers will welcome Hillsdale in to Allendale on Tuesday (Apr. 10) for a doubleheader slated to begin at 2 p.m.