April 13, 2013
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Valley State baseball team split a doubleheader with Walsh on Saturday (Apr. 13) at DeWitt Field on the campus of Cornerstone University. The Lakers steamrolled Walsh 12-0 in game one, before having the tables turned on them in a 1-0 loss in the nightcap.
The split gives GVSU a 17-12 record overall with an 11-5 mark in the GLIAC. Walsh is now 16-11 overall and 10-7 in the league.
The doubleheader was moved to Cornerstone due to undesirable field conditions at the Laker Baseball Field. Cornerstone is home to one of the newest artificial turf baseball stadiums in the state.
In the opener, it was all Lakers right from the start.
GVSU put a six-spot up in the bottom of the second inning as GVSU sent 10 hitters to the plate. Sophomore Jesse Abel worked a one-out walk and moved to second on a groundout. From there, it was a barrage of hits, beginning with sophomore Jamie Potts' two-run blast to right field. Junior Taylor Banks then singled in to right center and came around to score when junior Stuart Eisler made a bid for a homer himself, smacking a double off the right field wall to make it a 3-0 game. After a wild pitch, walk and stolen base put two runners in scoring position, senior Stephen Claypool singled in to right field sharply and moved to second when the ball skipped by the outfielder.
The same thing then happened with sophomore Kevin Zak at the plate, as he singled through the left side of the infield and the ball snuck under the glove of the left fielder.
Quickly, GVSU led 6-0 and didn't let up from there. A pair of three-run innings in the fourth and fifth effectively put the game away as the Lakers went up 12-0 and never looked back.
Senior Kyle Teague (5-0) was fantastic on the mound, throwing a four-hit shutout with seven strikeouts. He was helped by a defense that turned three double plays behind him.
Claypool led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a career-high five RBI. Zak finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Potts was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Banks went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, while Eisler was 1-for-1 with three runs scored and an RBI.
In the nightcap, the script went the other way for the Lakers.
GVSU actually led off the bottom of the first with two straight walks, but a strikeout and two groundouts ended the early chance.
Walsh took advantage in the top of the second, getting a lead-off single back up the middle and a double down the right field line to put two in scoring position.
Walsh then tried a squeeze play to get the first run home, but the hitter missed the bunt and Banks threw out the runner at third who had a walking lead off the bag anticipating the bunt. The play turned out to save the Lakers a run, as the hitter than singled in to right field to bring home the runner from second to make it a 1-0 game, a play that could have resulted in two runs.
The Lakers had another threat in the bottom of the fourth, with a lead-off walk from Abel. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to second, a groundout moved him to third and then the Lakers had runners on the corners after a walk from Banks. Unfortunately, a groundout to third base ended the last threat GVSU would have in the game.
GVSU was unable to take advantage of a stellar pitching performance by freshman Patrick Kelly, as the Lakers could only manage two hits in the game. GVSU didn't have a hit until there two outs in the bottom of the fifth, as Zak singled through the left side.
Some controversy popped up in the bottom of the sixth. With one out on the board, Potts hit a ball to short that got bobbled and it appeared that Potts was safe by almost two steps. The umpire, however, said that Potts did not step on the bag as he was crossing and called him out. Senior Chris Rudenga then followed with a double down the right field line, but the Lakers couldn't do anything else in the inning.
Kelly (3-3) took the tough-luck loss, throwing a complete game, allowing only six hits and one earned run with four strikeouts.
Zak and Rudenga were the only Lakers to record hits, with Rudenga's being his ninth double of the season.
The final game of the three-game series is currently scheduled for noon on Sunday (Apr. 14), also being played at Cornerstone.