May 4, 2013
DETROIT, Mich. - The Grand Valley State baseball team wrapped up its 16th regular season GLIAC championship on Saturday (May 4) with a split against Wayne State. The Lakers took game one 3-1 before falling 1-0 in extra innings in the nightcap. It's the ninth time in the last 10 years that the Lakers have won the regular season crown.
GVSU is now 27-17 overall with a 21-7 record in the conference. Wayne State is 31-15 overall with a 21-9 mark in the GLIAC.
The Lakers got the scoring started in the top of the third, as senior Chris Rudenga singled and junior Giancarlo Brugnoni doubled with one out to put two in scoring position. Sophomore Jamie Potts did his job following that, lifting a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 1-0 game.
Wayne State responded in the bottom of the third with a run of their own, despite not getting a hit. After a walk and a fielder's choice, a sacrifice bunt put a man on second. A balk moved him to third and a wild pitch brought in the tying run.
The 1-1 deadlock held strong until the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore Jesse Abel got a one-out walk and moved to second when sophomore Matthew Schuch hit a ball to short that was misplayed to put two on. Junior Stuart Eisler appeared to hit in to a double play, as the Warriors got the out at second, but the relay throw to first was errant, allowing Eisler to move to second and Abel to come across the plate and give the Lakers a 2-1 lead.
The Warriors looked like they would answer again, putting a runner on second with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth. After a groundout moved him to third, a groundout to first got the second out and senior closer Brad Zambron came on to get the final out of the inning with the tying run on third.
In the top of the seventh, senior Stephen Claypool and sophomore Kevin Zak both singled to lead off the frame. A single in to left field by Rudenga then loaded the bases with still nobody out. After a pitching change, Brugnoni hit a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 3-1 game. A double play then thwarted the Laker threat.
Zambron continued doing what he's done all his career in the bottom of the seventh, shutting down the Warriors without a run to wrap up the 3-1 victory and secure the GLIAC regular season championship for the Lakers.
GVSU held Wayne State to only two hits in the game, led by senior Kyle Teague's starting effort. Teague worked 5.2 innings, allowing only one hit and one earned run with three strikeouts to move to 6-1 on the season. Zambron picked up his 11th save with a 1.1 innings of shutout relief with one strikeout.
Zak and Rudenga each had two hits in the game, while Brugnoni and Potts each went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Abel had the rare 0-for-0 game despite playing the entire game, scoring once and drawing three walks.
It was another offensive struggled in the nightcap for both teams. The best opportunity came in the bottom of the third for Wayne State, as they had the bases loaded with one out. However, Eisler turned an unassisted double play to keep the game scoreless.
Senior Anthony Campanella escaped danger in the bottom of the seventh as well, as a double and intentional walk with nobody out set the stage. However, Campanella got a swinging strikeout and then got the next hitter to roll in to the 4-6-3 double play to send the game to extra innings.
For the second time on the season, Campanella, tied for the GVSU career lead in shutouts, took a shutout in to extra innings.
Unfortunately, in the bottom of the eighth, he was unable to escape the Warrior threat. After a lead-off single, sacrifice bunt and another single put runners on the corners, a squeeze play was put on by Wayne State and executed for the victory as the walk-off run came in to score as the only tally in the game.
Campanella (6-4) took the loss, allowing six hits and one run through 7.1 innings of work. Campanella continues being a victim of almost no run support, as he is now 4-2 in the GLIAC with a 0.79 ERA in six starts.
GVSU tallied only five hits in the game, one each by sophomore Mike Nadratowski, Claypool, Rudenga, Potts and Eisler.
The Lakers and Warriors will do battle once again on Sunday (May 5) for a nine-inning contest slated to begin at noon in Detroit. It will be the final game of the regular season for both teams.