GVSU baseball sweeps Tiffin in Friday doubleheader

GVL / Sheila Babbitt
Number 11, Blake Dahlstrom, pitches at the home opener vs Tiffin on March 30th, 2018.

GVL / Sheila Babbitt Number 11, Blake Dahlstrom, pitches at the home opener vs Tiffin on March 30th, 2018.

Brady McAtamney

After splitting a doubleheader with the Tiffin University Dragons on Thursday, March 29, the Grand Valley State Lakers came out Friday, March 30, and swept the second doubleheader of the week against Tiffin with scores of 7-1 and 9-0.

“It was definitely big to come out and get a series win,” said first baseman Ryan Blake-Jones. “Last weekend, a split wasn’t really what we wanted, so we needed to build a little bit of momentum going into Davenport next week. So, it was good to get a series win.”

Though the Lakers did score 16 runs over the two games they played Friday, it was their pitching that enabled them to secure victories as Blake Dahlstrom came one out away from a complete game shutout in game one with 6.2 innings, one hit and four strikeouts. Nevertheless, six walks and five hit batters were the bane of his afternoon and even allowed a single run to cross the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“Toughest part for me is when we’ve got a starter that goes into the seventh inning and he’s under 100 pitches and we’ve got a shutout going,” said head coach Jamie Detillion. “It’s tough for me to take guys out in that situation, but there’s also some good arms we have that need to throw.”

It was Tate Brawley who dominated in game two, throwing seven scoreless innings while allowing only three hits and whiffing six. Brett Nearing and Grant Peters closed it out with two hitless innings out of the bullpen.

While the pitching kept runs off the board, GVSU’s bats consistently put some on. Blake-Jones led the charge out of the cleanup spot, going 6-for-7 on the afternoon with six RBIs, two runs scored and one home run—his fourth of the season.

“I was just seeing the ball really well, just one of those days where the ball was falling well, and I put some good swings on it,” Blake-Jones said.

Additionally, right fielder Jake Gleason went 5-for-8 on the day while driving in two runs and crossing the plate five times, once off his fourth home run of the year.

“Guys were going up there with some intent, some quality at-bats and good focus,” Detillion said. “Sticking to an approach and good things happen when they stick to it, when they execute a good game plan. We’ve got some talent to make some plays.

“For the whole series, all but one inning, I’d like to think we played pretty well for the most part. It’d have been nice to get four (wins), but any time you can win a series in conference, it’s still a good weekend. I’d like to think there’s a lot of hope for this team. There’s a lot of upside—we still need to improve on some areas—but obviously today, one run and it was in the seventh inning when I wanted our pitcher to get a shutout, and I probably left him in too long.”

Following the three-win weekend in which GVSU outscored Tiffin 32-7, the Lakers find themselves at 16-11 (5-3 GLIAC), while Tiffin falls to 9-13 (3-5 GLIAC). The Lakers will travel to Hillsdale to take on the Chargers (11-14) in a one-game non-conference fling Tuesday, April 3, at 3 p.m.