GV baseball eliminated in second World Series game

	Courtesy Photo / Willis Glassgow

Courtesy Photo / Willis Glassgow

Samantha Butcher

Despite suffering two losses in the Division II NCAA World Series, the Grand Valley State University baseball team is riding high on a record-breaking season.

“We had a fantastic season, 52-5, and set all kinds of records for Grand Valley baseball,” said Steve Lyon, GVSU head coach.

The 2010-2011 baseball team set school records for both the number and percentage of wins in a season, the highest in GVSU history.

The Lakers entered the championship series on a 32-game winning streak but fell to Sonoma State, 7-6, Sunday in the Cary, N.C., championship opener. They followed the defeat with a second loss against Southern Connecticut State on Tuesday in a 8-6 nail-biter.

“In baseball, you’re not meant to win 32 games in a row and the law of averages caught up to us,” said Steve Lyon, GVSU head coach. “We lost a couple of games to a couple of really good teams in a couple of really close games.”

The Lakers began the game with a 3-0 lead with an RBI single from freshman Giancarlo Brugnoni and a two-run triple from senior first baseman Torre Aguirre, but lost their advantage at the top of the fourth when Southern Connecticut edged ahead, 4-3. The teams tied in the bottom of the fourth after junior outfielder Steve Anderson sent senior infielder Cory Phillips to home plate with a triple.

Southern Connecticut nosed ahead again at the top of the sixth, beating GVSU 5-4 after an RBI single and followed the hit with two more runs. The Lakers responded with a two-out, two-RBI double from Brugnoni, narrowing the gap between the two teams.

Southern Connectict scored their eighth and final run at the top of the ninth, clenching their victory and eliminating the Lakers.

“[The team was] disappointed as you always are when the season ends,” Lyon said. “There’s only one team that wins the last game of the year, that’s the national champion, and we got pretty close and we’re proud of the fact that we won our conference and we won the regional championship and earned a trip to the World Series and all those types of things were great accomplishments for this team.”

Lyon said that while the championship loss was disappointing, the team returned to Michigan in good spirits and proud of their accomplishments.

“You can’t just wish you were good, you really have to work at it,” he said. “All the way back in September, they began the process of working hard as a team and working to improve individually, and it certainly paid off with a fantastic season. I think it’s one of those life lessons that everybody can adhere to is that things aren’t going to be given to you – you earn them, and I think this team certainly learned that you can earn good things.”

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