New coach, same results

GVL / Robert Mathews
Senior Anthony Campanella pitching against Tiffin University during the Lakers double header.

GVL / Robert Mathews Senior Anthony Campanella pitching against Tiffin University during the Lakers double header.

Bryce Derouin

The weekend of May 5 brought the Grand Valley State University baseball team its ninth GLIAC title—its first in the last ten years and the first with Jamie Detillion, who replaced Steve Lyon, as manager.

GVSU (28-14, 22-7 GLIAC) secured the regular season GLIAC title after defeating Wayne State University 3-1 in the first game of the doubleheader.

Senior Kyle Teague (6-1) earned the win after going 5.2 innings, allowing one hit and one earned run. Senior NCAA Division II saves leader Brad Zambron added another to his record, tallying his 11th save of the season with 1.1 innings of work and one strikeout.

“It’s one of the goals that we set out at the beginning of the season,” Detillion said. “So it’s definitely nice to achieve some of the goals you set along the way. Especially consider the way that we struggled to start the season. I thought it was a very good way for our team to rebound and prove that they still are a legitimate team.”

The Lakers got off to a slow start to begin the year, going 6-7 in their first 13 games. They’ve managed to bring it all together, going 11-2 in their final 13 contests of the regular season.

“Obviously we had our ups and downs early,” Detillion said. “To put everything together and win a conference championship speaks to the character of our team. There was nobody giving up on anything, and they stuck together and worked hard and tried to make themselves better throughout the season. To date, they’ve been able to do that to win a conference championship.”

Two seniors, Teague and Anthony Campanella (6-4), led GVSU’s pitching staff. Campanella boasted the teams lowest ERA (1.83) and Teague was second (1.92).

“It’s good to keep the tradition going and get on a hot streak going into the postseason,” Teague said. “All of our pitchers think they’re gonna go out and throw a shutout and win every game. We always knew we would have a chance to win the title. We’re definitely going into the (GLIAC) tournament thinking we’re going to win.”

Sophomore Kevin Zak led the Lakers in batting average, hitting .381 on the year, and junior Giancarlo Brugnoni was a driving force behind the GVSU offense, batting .295 and leading the team in home runs (11), RBI (44) and slugging percentage (.629).

“We started off slow, but each week, we got a little bit better and it finally came together,” Brugnoni said. “It was nice to put it together at the end of the year and make a little run, which allowed us to win the conference.”

As the season progressed, the Lakers saw production from the entire lineup, which allowed GVSU to pile up some wins in the process.

“We started hitting one through nine,” Brugnoni said. “It wasn’t just the top of the order, or the bottom of the order coming up with big hits—it was the whole team. At the end of the year, everyone wants to be the guy to get that big hit. I think that’s the attitude that drove us to win the conference championship.”

GVSU closed its regular season with a 10-4 win over Wayne State University on May 5, which gave the Lakers a 2-1 series advantage over WSU.

The first round of the GLIAC tournament takes place on May 8 in Ypsilanti, and GVSU will face Lake Erie College in the first round. The time of the game has yet to be announced.

GVSU is 3-0 on the season against Lake Erie, defeating it 6-5, 1-0, and 8-1.
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