GVSU baseball splits four-game series with Ohio Dominican

GVL / Luke Holmes -  Jake Mason (33) returns to the dugout. GVSU Mens Baseball faced off against Ohio Dominican in a double header on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Luke Holmes

GVL / Luke Holmes – Jake Mason (33) returns to the dugout. GVSU Men’s Baseball faced off against Ohio Dominican in a double header on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Josh Peick

In a weekend that featured 69 combined runs, the Grand Valley State baseball team split a four-game series with Ohio Dominican Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9. The Lakers won the first and last game of the series 9-8 and 13-9 and dropped the middle two games 5-1 and 16-8.

The Lakers got off to a slow start in the series, falling behind 8-2 after the top of the fifth inning. GVSU cut the lead to two runs in the bottom half of the frame after a two-run double by Seth Johnson and a two-run homerun by Brody Andrews.

Connor Glick ripped a single up the middle in the sixth inning to get the Lakers a run away from sending the game to extra innings.

In the seventh inning, Ryan Blake-Jones started off the inning with a double to left-center. With two outs, Alex Young stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second base.

“I just tried to stay patient,” Young said. “I always get tensed up and try to swing out of my shoes. He threw me two fastballs and then two sliders in the dirt. I could tell he didn’t like to pitch the slider so he came back with a fastball down the middle.”

He tattooed the fastball in between the shortstop and second baseman to score Blake-Jones and send the game to extra innings.

“I’ve been working a lot on the swing this past week and trying to figure out how to get it going,” Young said. “I think that this weekend helped me out a lot just seeing the ball deep.”

Young has been trying to find a groove at the plate in and out of the lineup in the past few weeks. He finished the weekend with six hits and a spot back at the top of the lineup.

“When he’s there and in a rhythm he’s a difference maker,” said GVSU coach Jamie Detillion. “He’s a good baseball player. We need to get him going and keep him consistent.”

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Johnson singled through the right side to score Connor Glick and complete the six-run comeback.

Riding an emotional win, the Lakers tried to keep the momentum going in the second game of the day. The Lakers trailed by three runs after the third inning and only managed one run in the game on a Matt Williams single.

“I feel like we just weren’t able to keep that emotional high,” Andrews said. “We got so hyped up with that big win, and once we had time to settle down it brought us to an emotional low. We really can’t have that. We have to figure out how to keep ourselves stable and comeback and compete.”

In the first game of the Sunday doubleheader, the Lakers looked to rebound after a disappointing loss Saturday. With the wind blowing out, the Panthers jumped on GVSU pitcher Mitch Ashcraft early, scoring eight runs in the first three innings.

The Lakers scored two runs in the second inning and four runs in the third inning to cut the Panthers’ lead to two, but the Ohio Dominican bats did not let up.

The Panthers scored at least one run in every inning of the game to win by an eight-run deficit. Ohio Dominican’s Lee Sponseller reached base five times in the game with three RBIs and three runs scored.

GVSU’s Young finished the game with three RBIs while shortstop Johnny Nate added a pair of RBIs in the loss.

“It’d be nice if we were just a little more consistent in situations with runners in scoring position and moving runners on base,” Detillion said. “That’s one area that I would really like for our offense to grow in.”

In the final game of the series, the Panthers continued the innings-scoring streak with a run in the opening frame. The Lakers answered back in the bottom half of the frame with a two-run double from Andrews.

The Panthers finally came up empty in the top of the second but scored two runs in the top of the third. Again, the Lakers answered back with a second double from Andrews that scored a run and a Glick RBI-single.

Ohio Dominican grabbed a two-run lead in the top of the fifth inning, but the Lakers scored four runs in the bottom of the inning. Andrews ripped his third double of the game to score two runs before Glick hit a double of his own to score Andrews.

Keith Browning drove in Glick on a triple to the right-center gap to give the Lakers a two-run lead.

The Lakers scored four more runs in the game to give enough of a cushion for Williams to record a four-out save and complete the series split.

GVSU will have a short turnaround with a doubleheader at home against Ashland Wednesday, April 12, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.