Baseball splits weekend with Ashland

Baseball splits weekend with Ashland

Cody Eding

Going into last weekend, the Grand Valley State University baseball team had not lost a game after having the lead past the fourth inning.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, Saturday afternoon proved there is a first time for everything.

Ryan Avery’s sixth-inning, two-RBI single was enough to give Ashland University a 2-1 victory in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader before the GVSU bats pounded out 10 hits to help the Lakers take a 6-3 victory in the second game.

On Sunday, the Lakers dominated the Eagles with a 7-0 showing.

Ashland entered play Saturday winning eight of their last 10 games.

“They’re right on our heels in third in the GLIAC,” said GVSU head coach Steve Lyon. “It was certainly a tough situation to ride into town and try to derail them.”

The weekend series moved No. 13 GVSU to 28-10 overall and 18-7 in the GLIAC. After the split, the Lakers moved within a half game behind conference leader Wayne State University, who dropped both games of their doubleheader against Tiffin University on Saturday.

Before taking game two, GVSU had lost three straight games.

“It definitely felt great to win the game,” said sophomore center fielder Cody Grice. “We weren’t too worried about our losses as much as we were just taking it one game at a time.”

Avery’s triple in game one spoiled an otherwise great pitching performance from junior righty Joe Jablonski. In six innings of work, he gave up only two earned runs and eight hits while striking out three and walking two.

The loss was Jablonski’s first of the season, and it dropped his record to 5-1.

“He was fantastic,” Lyon said. “They’ve been scoring tons of runs … it was good to see Joe shut them down.”

After jumping ahead 1-0 on senior Cory McGuire’s first-inning RBI ground out, the Lakers could not muster anymore support for Jablonski. GVSU totaled five hits in the game and stranded seven runners on base.

“We had a couple of chances to add on to our lead,” Lyon said. “We just weren’t able to push over a run or two to help Joe out.”

The Lakers responded in game two by knocking home six runs to give sophomore pitcher Cory Rademacher all the help he needed. The right-hander followed Jablonski’s strong game-one performance by pitching a complete game. He scattered nine hits and gave up only two earned runs to improve his record to 4-1.

“(Rademacher) gave up the two runs in the first inning and really just settled until he gave up the meaningless one in the seventh,” Lyon said.

Game two was highlighted by a seventh-inning, two-run home run off of the bat of junior Torre Aguirre. Grice added three hits while senior second baseman Kyle Gendron had two RBIs.

Gendron said the difference between the games was keeping pressure on Ashland throughout the second game.

“We were really in control a lot of the time; we just need to find a way to put it all together at once,” he said. “We when put it all together, then we are tough to beat.”

The weekend’s games were the middle of a 17-game road trip for the Lakers that started April 10 and runs through the end of the month. So far, the team has posted a 6-5 record on the trip.

GVSU will travel to Tiffin University on Wednesday for an important conference doubleheader. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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