GVSU splits final doubleheader in SVSU series

GVL / Emily Frye   
Catcher Brody Andrews makes the catch at home against Saginaw Valley State University on Saturday Mar. 26, 2016.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Catcher Brody Andrews makes the catch at home against Saginaw Valley State University on Saturday Mar. 26, 2016.

A.A. Knorr

With just one conference series in the books, the Grand Valley State baseball team is finding itself right where it wants to be—on top of the GLIAC North.

The Lakers took three of four games from Saginaw Valley State in the first GLIAC series of the year. GVSU (12-8-1, 3-1-0 GLIAC) took the first two games at home on March 25, and split a pair at SVSU (9-12-0, 1-3-0) on March 29.

“We’re finishing up a four-game series with Saginaw Valley, so on the positive side we won three out of four,” said GVSU head coach Jamie Detillion. “We won the series, so that’s always a positive.”

In the first game of the second doubleheader of the series, the Lakers sent Zach Anderson to the hill to pitch. Anderson worked out of a first inning jam, and the Lakers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second after Seth Johnson doubled home Anthony Villar.

The rest of the contest was all Cardinals.

Anderson (2-3) got dinged up for six runs (four earned) off eight hits and one walk in just four innings of work as GVSU fell 9-1. He struck out just one batter, but even with a strong outing, the Lakers likely would’ve taken the loss.

After Johnson’s RBI double, GVSU picked up just five hits the rest of the contest. The Lakers committed three errors on the field, solidifying Detillion’s feelings that his squad needs to be more consistent as the season progresses.

“Just things like not being prepared once we field the ball, throwing it to the wrong base, not being prepared mentally, which turns into a physical error—a couple plays where we didn’t field a bunt, or a couple things offensively,” Detillion said.

SVSU starter Scott Sency tossed a complete game, allowing just seven baserunners while striking out eight. Laker reliever Reid Kelley surrendered two more runs in 0.2 innings, and fellow reliever Brendan Nearing allowed a run and recorded just one out.

Sometime between the first and second games, GVSU’s bats hopped out of bed.

The Lakers ripped 12 hits in the second game of the twinbill, but scored just four runs. GVSU starting pitcher Tim Tarter (3-1) only needed a couple runs, however, as he threw six innings of one-run ball in GVSU’s 4-1 win in nine innings.

“Working for me today was just getting ahead of hitters, getting the first out every inning,” Tarter said.

The Lakers broke through again in the second inning, as catcher Connor Glick plated Alex Young with an RBI single. Young factored into all four Laker runs, knocking RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings, and scoring another run in the eighth after second baseman Josh Smith drew a bases-loaded walk.

Young paced the Laker offense in the second game, going 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Young, a center fielder, is hitting .311 on the season and has swiped nine bases on nine attempts.

“I think we played pretty well,” Young said. “We came out the first game a little flat, but regrouped the second game and put it to them.”

Closer Matt Williams picked up his sixth save on the year, and is sporting a thin 0.61 ERA. Williams struck out two batters in his lone inning, and allowed one baserunner on a walk.

The Lakers are in an early tie with Northwood, also 3-1 in conference, at the top of the GLIAC North. Ashland, which is leading the GLIAC overall, is poised on top of the GLIAC South with a 4-0 conference record.

The two conference leaders will get a crack at each other as GVSU visits Ashland (13-8-0, 34-0 GLIAC) for a doubleheader on April 2.