GVSU Lakers remain optimistic after slow start

Archive / Robert Mathews
Giancarlo Brugnoni (40) rounding the bases during a previous game.

Robert Mathews

Archive / Robert Mathews Giancarlo Brugnoni (40) rounding the bases during a previous game.

Bryce Derouin

As far as the season goes, the Grand Valley State University baseball team is not off to the start they envisioned.

After finishing their non-conference schedule, GVSU finds themselves at 6-7 after they went 1-3 this past weekend.

The Lakers dropped a pair of 5-4 decisions to Mercyhurst College on Saturday to start their Pennsylvania road trip.

“We’re to a point now where we just need to start figuring out a way to win,” head coach Jamie Detillion said. “We played in some close games, and we came up a little short. We made a few mistakes here and there that we’re learning from and getting better from. At some point we just got to put it into action and get a little bit better in situations.”

Errors and slow starts were GVSU’s kryptonite against Mercyhurst. The Lakers found themselves trailing 4-1 after two innings in the first matchup, and surrendered two runs in the top of the first inning in the second matchup, before scoring three runs of their own half of the first. GVSU also committed two errors in the first game, and three miscues in the second game of the doubleheader.

“We don’t want to make excuses, but mistakes are gonna happen,” Detillion said. “We just have to be mentally tough enough to avoid those situations. We’ve given up a lot of runs early in games and put ourselves in position to play behind. We need to do a better job of starting the games.”

On Sunday, the Lakers leaned on their ace senior Anthony Campanella, who delivered in the 2-0 win in the first matchup with California University of Pennsylvania.

Campanella pitched a complete game shutout and allowed only three hits in the outing. It was his second straight shutout, and the fourth of his career, tying the GVSU career record.

“Honestly, I just trusted the fielders and everything and threw strikes,” Campanella said. “I have great fielders and a great team behind me and everything.”

All four of Campanella’s shutouts have come in his last six outings. Campanella’s last shutout also came after two consecutive GVSU losses, as he used 82 pitches to blank Minnesota State University, a 12-0 Lakers win.

“I felt like we definielty needed a win, so I put added peressure on myself to pitch a good game and everything and help the team out,” Campanella said. “I feel like I strive under a little pressure. That’s usually when I pitch my better games. When the team needs me, I’m ready to answer the call.”

GVSU would fall in the second game of the doubleheader, as they were shutout 3-0. California (Pa.) improved to 13-3 on the season after the split.

The Lakers will now look forward to turning things around in GLIAC play. GVSU opens conference play on the road against Hillsdale College on Wednesday.

“We’re excited to start GLIAC play, said junior Giancarlo Brugnoni. “We know how much talent this team has. We just need to go out there and show it. We know our record doesn’t show it, but we know we got talent and pretty soon it’s all going to come together and we’re going to go on a nice little run. Our pitching staff looks great, and we have a deep roster. We’re going to get over these few losses and we’re going to get rolling.”
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