May 31, 2013
CARY, N.C. - The 14th-ranked Grand Valley State baseball team saw its incredible postseason run come to an end on Friday (May 31) with a 10-1 loss to top-ranked Tampa in the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals.
The Lakers end their season at 38-19 overall, while Tampa moves to 46-12 overall and on to face Minnesota State in the national championship game.
Tampa got the scoring started in the top of the second, getting two singles to lead off the inning and put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly to deep center field then brought the first run of the game in, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
The big shot of the game came in the top of the fourth for Tampa. After loading the bases with nobody out, GVSU got two force outs at home and appeared as if they would get out of the jam, but a fly ball to left field that looked like a routine out carried over the outfield fence for a grand slam and a 5-0 lead.
The Spartans got four hits and added five more runs to their lead in the top of the sixth to make it a 10-0 advantage.
The Lakers' lone run in the game came in the bottom of the ninth, as junior Giancarlo Brugnoni led off the inning with a single, then moved to third on a single by sophomore Matthew Schuch. A wild pitch then moved both runners up, allowing Brugnoni to cross the plate and make it a 10-1 game.
Tampa's relief pitching would get the final outs of the game, however, ending the Lakers' spectacular postseason run. The three wins in the national finals matches the best performance for GVSU in school history, when the 2004 squad won three games en route to a national runner-up finish.
Sophomore Kevin Zak finished 2-for-4, while Brugnoni was 1-for-4 with a run scored. Sophomore Jamie Potts and junior Taylor Banks each went 1-for-3, with senior Stephen Claypool going 1-for-4 with his 19th double of the season.
"It's disappointing any time you lose, but we started the season 6-7 and didn't look very good. We rode out the bumps and I'm proud of where we got. We are losing six good seniors but I hope this is a good building block for the future," said head coach Jamie Detillion.