Gleason, GVSU baseball clobber Hillsdale 14-4

GVL / Emily Frye
Zach Berry gets a hit landing him on base during the game against Hillsdale on Tuesday April 10th, 2018.

GVL / Emily Frye Zach Berry gets a hit landing him on base during the game against Hillsdale on Tuesday April 10th, 2018.

Brady McAtamney

Playing baseball in cold weather is not ideal. The metal bat stings the hands, the wind blasts against everyone’s face and the feeling in players’ fingers is nonexistent. After all, the sport is meant to be played in the summertime under the warm sun.

Nevertheless, the Grand Valley State baseball team had no issue with the brisk temperatures Tuesday, April 10, as the Lakers clobbered the Hillsdale College Chargers 14-4 at the GVSU baseball field.

“We’re going in the right direction,” said head coach Jamie Detillion. “The weather has been absolutely brutal this entire spring, and it is what it is, but it’s been a challenge. I think if we have some good weather for a few weeks, this team could be dangerous.”

Hillsdale took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single and took that lead into the second before the Lakers exploded for six runs, four of which came off the bat of right fielder Jake Gleason with an opposite field grand slam. The junior hit four-for-five on the afternoon with two doubles, a home run, three runs scored and five RBIs.

“(I felt) good, a little cold, ready for it to heat up. Solid today,” Gleason said. “We just kept it simple, didn’t try to do too much. Just doing what we’ve been doing, hitting the crap out of the ball and focused on our fielding better today, I’d say.”

After the six-run second inning, the Lakers scored six more across the third, fourth and fifth before capping off the afternoon with a two-run eighth.

Catcher Austin LaDoux went two-for-two with two walks, two RBIs and three runs scored; second baseman Josh C. Smith went two-for-five with two RBIs; and first baseman Ryan Blake-Jones went one-for-three with a home run, two RBIs, a walk and two runs scored.

“From the third game of that series against Davenport, there’s a little something in there for this team,” Detillion said. “We came back, we had a good win and I’m really hopeful that that’s the turning point to jump start a lot of things. We competed yesterday into today, and if you look at the offensive output the last two games, it’s been just consistent. 

“Good starting pitching. Today, the bullpen threw pretty well, for the most part, so pretty well-balanced game. I was happy with how we played.”

Starting pitcher Christian Mecure threw six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, five walks and five strikeouts. Jake Mason, Brendan Nearing and Kyle Lawson each threw one inning out of the bullpen, combining for two hits, two runs (one earned), three walks and seven strikeouts, with Lawson retiring the Chargers in order during the ninth inning.

Now at 19-13 through all their cold-weather affairs up to this point, the Lakers believe they have only scratched the surface as far as what this team is capable of achieving this season. They only plan on getting better from here.

“Watch out for when it finally gets hot outside because then we’re going to really start going,” Gleason said.