The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV baseball crushes Parkside 7-2 and 12-1 in DH

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The Grand Valley State University Lakers’ baseball team (10-8, 2-0) played a doubleheader series against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers (11-9, 0-2) on Saturday, March 23. After a snowstorm hit Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the games were moved to Chicago, Illinois at Saint Xavier University.

It was the first series of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference (GLIAC) play for the Lakers. After a sluggish start offensively, the GVSU bats heated up. They won both games dominantly, beating the Rangers 7-2 in the first game and 12-1 in the second. GVSU was led offensively by junior designated hitter Conner McCormack, who went 4-for-6 batting with three RBIs, while crossing the plate four times himself.

To start game one, Parkside took a quick 1-0 lead over GVSU with a run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly that scored the Rangers’ Peter Fusek, who had gotten on base to start the game after being walked. Then, both teams would go scoreless until the fourth inning, where GVSU would begin to take over the game.

In the fourth inning, Lakers’ right fielder Nathan Logan hit a single, then advanced to second on a throwing error. Logan tied the game on the next at-bat thanks to McCormack, who tripled home Logan, before catcher Brennan Guciardo hit a single that scored McCormack.

With a 2-1 lead, the momentum would continue in the Lakers’ favor in the fifth when shortstop Connor Schuman singled up the middle to start the inning. This was the beginning of a four-run onslaught, as Shuman was followed by outfielder Kyle Nott, who got walked after a long at bat. Nott and Shuman then advanced on a double steal and scored when GVSU third baseman Jonas Gulbrandsen singled to left field. This extended the Lakers lead to 4-1.

Logan would then ground out to first base, allowing Gulbrandsen to advance to third. McCormack then hit a home run to take a 6-1 lead at the top of the 5th.

The Lakers and Rangers each traded a single run the rest of the way, but it wasn’t enough to elicit a comeback as GVSU held on to their 7-2 victory. GVSU starting pitcher Nick Rutkowski threw for five full innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run. He was relieved by Logan Wynalda, who gave up one hit and one run in the final two innings of the first game.

GVSU head coach Jordan Keur praised Rutkowski.

“First off, I thought Nick Rutkowski gave us a really good start,” Keur said. “Anytime he’s on the mound, we know we’re gonna have a good start from him, so I would just say that he set the tone for the day.”

Rutkowski commented on and directed praise towards his team’s defense.

“I think it really makes it when you can just go in there and know that you can throw strikes and your defense behind you will make plays,” Rutkowski said. “That’s the whole thing for me, is knowing that my defense is going to their job, so I trust them and that makes me better.”

The Lakers would then play their second game against Parkside, which would be an even bigger rout for GVSU as they would defeat the Rangers, 12-1. GVSU scored five runs in the top of the second and would then score six runs at the top of the sixth.

Logan, who had two hits and four RBIs on the day, felt that the doubleheader sweep was because of a well-rounded team performance.

“It was nice that everyone on the team contributed,” Logan said. “I think we did a really good job of attacking early and our approach and how we played good, clean, defense behind our pitchers. I thought our pitchers did really well.”

With both wins over Parkside, the Lakers improved their record to 10-8 and started their conference record with a 2-0 start.

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