Baseball team proves ‘pretty good at everything’ this season

Emanuel Johnson

I’ll admit that I’m not that big of a baseball person – football is my sport of preference. I had just started learning the ins and outs, methodology and finer details when I first started playing MLB 2K8 (and oh, how that series went downhill from there).

But even I can tell you that what the Grand Valley State University baseball team is doing right now is out of the ordinary.

I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure that it’s uncommon for eight out of nine starters in the lineup to have batting averages at or above .320 halfway through the season. From the leadoff man on down, the consistent batting performances of each player in the lineup has enabled the team to register double-digit runs in 12 games this season.

And speaking of the leadoff man, sophomore outfielder Cody Grice has been absolutely on fire this season. I know that, being the leadoff man, Grice is supposed to lead the team in on-base percentage, but he doesn’t. While it is at a high .528, Grice’s on-base percentage is second to the next man down the lineup, sophomore third baseman Brian Robinson (.533).

Where Grice excels is everywhere else. He is head and shoulders above his teammates in slugging percentage at .741 and leads the team in hits, runs and RBIs. He leads the team with 12 multi-base hits and is second on the team with five homeruns.

The Lakers have performed well on the other side of the plate, as well. Despite having a few starting pitchers go down at the beginning of the season, the Laker pitching staff has managed to find a way to continue to perform at a high level.

Three pitchers, junior Joe Jablonski, sophomore Cory Rademacher and freshman Brad Zambron, were forced to take up starting roles after the injuries. Neither of them have been defeated yet, and two of them, Jablonski and Rademacher, have ERAs below 2.5.

I know that baseball is supposed to be a sport of consistency, but is this normal? To have players up and down the lineup put runs across the plate at the same time that the pitching staff confuses the opposing offense, what team can compete with that?

But GVSU head coach Steve Lyon foresaw this. When the season first started, he told me, “I don’t think we’re extraordinarily great at any one thing, but we’re pretty good at everything.”

I’d think that “pretty good” is an understatement, but then again, I’m not a baseball expert.

But I can tell you that as long as this team continues to post all-around performances as it’s done thusfar, the Lakers will put themselves over the postseason hump and give themselves a great shot at winning it all.

[email protected]