Glick’s walk-off single seals GVSU comeback

Andy Smith

For college baseball players, few opportunities are more nerve-racking than stepping up to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. For freshman catcher Connor Glick, that opportunity arose in just his third collegiate start with the tying run on second and the winning run on first.

“The thought of trying to tie the game or even drive in the winning run never crossed my mind,” Glick said of his 10th career at-bat with Grand Valley State. “I just wanted to do my job and get a walk or a hit to get on base. I have confidence in the next batter to get the job done.”

With a 1-2 count, Glick lofted a fly ball to center field – and it dropped in for the game-tying RBI. And after a throwing error from the Wayne State College center fielder, the winning run crossed the plate.

The GVSU offense was quiet to start the game, only putting up one run through the first five innings. From the sixth inning on, however, the offense came to life by scoring seven unanswered and giving GVSU a momentum-building 8-7 victory.

“Coming from behind gives our team a feeling of belief, to know that we are never out of games when we are down,” said coach Jamie Detillion. “It’s important to have the mindset that we can win and make it happen.”

The Lakers were led by shortstop Kevin Zak, who continued his torrid start to the season by going 5-for-5 with three RBI. It was GVSU’s first five-hit performance since Zak had a six-hit game in 2013.

“I’m staying confident, sticking to my approach and not pressing, and the results are taking care of themselves,” said Zak, who was tabbed as the GLIAC Player of the Week on Monday.

The Lakers ended the spring break trip to Florida with a 6-4 record and a 4-1 mark against teams from their region. A number of standout performances highlighted the trip, and many were had by Zak.

His five hits on Monday night raised his average to a blistering .500 through 10 games. He leads the team in total bases with 32, runs scored with 14, extra-base hits with seven, doubles with five, home runs with two, an outstanding slugging percentage of .762 and an on-base percentage on .500.

He ranks in the GLIAC’s top five in 15 statistical categories.

First baseman Josh Griffin went 2-for-4 with two RBI on the day, pushing his hitting and on-base streaks to nine games. Seven of his 13 hits and eight of his 12 RBI have come in his last five games.

Reliever Matt Williams (2-1) picked up the win by throwing two scoreless innings, striking out three and giving up just one hit.

GVSU returns to the diamond this weekend for three games in Nashville, Tenn. The Lakers take on Trevecca Nazarene (9 innings) Friday night before a Saturday doubleheader with Alderson Broaddus.