April 14, 2012
Allendale, Mich. - Sophomore Giancarlo Brugnoni (Grosse Pointe, Mich./De La Salle) re-wrote the GVSU record books on Saturday (Apr. 14), hitting four home runs in four straight plate appearances in a 12-1, 11-2 sweep of Tiffin at the Laker Baseball Field.
Brugnoni had a day that could be considered the best day at the plate in Laker baseball history. For the doubleheader, Brugnoni went 5-for-6 with five runs scored, eight RBI, four home runs (in consecutive at-bats) and the first triple of his career. In the last four games the Lakers have played against Tiffin, Brugnoni is now 9-for-13 with 10 runs, 15 RBI and six home runs. The four home runs in four straight plate appearances ties the NCAA Division II record for most consecutive home runs with current GVSU assistant baseball coach Jamie Detillion during his playing days at Ashland.
In game one, the Lakers got off to a big lead early, getting a one-out RBI triple from redshirt freshman Kevin Zak (Novi, Mich.) to go up 1-0 and a two-out RBI single by senior Jared Cowan (Davison, Mich.) to go up 2-0. That's when Brugnoni came to the plate for the first time on the day, and you knew it would be a special day when Brugnoni then tripled in to the right field gap, the first three-bagger of his career, scoring Cowan. After one inning of play, the Lakers led 4-0.
The second inning was much of the same for the Lakers as GVSU put five more runs on the board to take a commanding 9-0 lead. Senior Steve Anderson (Northville, Mich.) had a solo home run in the inning and Brugnoni hit his first home run of the day, a two-run shot to left-center field.
After a single Laker run in the bottom of the third made it a 10-0 game, Brugnoni came up again in the bottom of the fourth with a man on first and went opposite field this time, depositing a ball over the fence in right-center field for home run number two of the day to give the Lakers a 12-0 lead.
Behind the strong pitching of senior Kyle Schepel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian), the Lakers earned a 12-1 victory in the opener of the series. Schepel (7-2) went five innings, allowing four hits and one walk with five strikeouts and no runs allowed.
Brugnoni finished game one 3-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBI, setting a new GVSU single-game record with 11 total bases (two home runs and one triple). Senior Brian Robinson (Troy, Mich.) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while freshman Mike Nadratowski (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Zak finished the game 1-for-2 with a run scored, two RBI and his first triple of the season. Cowan went 1-for-2 with three runs, one RBI and one walk in the contest.
In the nightcap, the Lakers again spotted themselves a four-run lead in the first inning thanks to a two-RBI double from Cowan and a continuation of the Brugnoni show. This time, Brugnoni lifted a ball to straight-away right field for a two-run bomb to make it a 4-0 game.
The score stayed there until Brugnoni came back to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Leading off the frame, he hit a chest-high pitch for a towering shot that landed just below the score board in left-center field to make it a 5-0 game. It was his fourth straight at-bat of the day with a home run.
In the fifth inning, Cowan singled in a run with a one-out shot off the third-base bag, putting two runners on for Brugnoni to come to the plate. With a chance at his third home run of the game and fifth straight at-bat with a homer, Brugnoni battled but swung through a high breaking ball for a strike out. He was picked up by junior Stephen Claypool (Carleton, Mich./Ball State), however, as Claypool tripled to the right field gap to plate both runners and make it a 7-0 game. Freshman Jamie Potts (Muskegon, Mich./Oakridge) had a pinch-hit RBI single and senior Zach Laupp (Mattawan, Mich.) had an RBI triple later in the inning to bring home single runs, as well, making it a 10-0 lead.
The Lakers put up another run in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double from freshman Lance Buitendyk (Grand Rapids, Mich./West Catholic) to make it 11-0, but the Dragons were able to scratch across two runs in the top of the seventh, making it an 11-2 final score in the nightcap.
Brugnoni and Cowan each finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI, Cowan hitting his ninth double of the year and Brugnoni recording two more home runs to give him 10 on the season. Anderson finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk, while Claypool went 1-for-2 with a run, two RBI and a walk.
Senior Ryan Garman (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Johnson County C.C.) (6-2) earned the victory, throwing five innings, allowing only two hits with two strikeouts.
Brugnoni's big day gave him plenty of accolades with regard to record books and his recent performances:
- Becomes first Laker ever to have back-to-back multi-home run games.
- Becomes first Laker ever with four or more multi-home run games in his career.
- Becomes first Laker ever with three multi-home run games in a single season (had two home runs in a game against Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (Apr. 7).
- Becomes first Laker with 10 or more home runs in a season since 2009.
- New single game GVSU record 11 total bases in game one.
- Brugnoni has also had multi-home run games in three of his last four games against Tiffin.
The sweep moves the Lakers to 24-10 on the year with a 14-6 record in the GLIAC, while Tiffin falls to 11-20 overall with a 6-12 mark in the conference.
The same two teams will do battle on Sunday (Apr. 15) for a doubleheader slated to begin at 12 p.m. at the Laker Baseball Field.