GVSU baseball loses two against Wayne State

Pitcher, Noah Lamboley, pitches at the game against Ashland on April 12th, 2018. GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Pitcher, Noah Lamboley, pitches at the game against Ashland on April 12th, 2018. GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Eli Ong

If you would have asked any of the talking heads that surround Grand Valley State University’s baseball team at the beginning of the year what their record would look like by the end of March, few would have guessed that they would be three games under .500.

But that is exactly where the Lakers’ baseball team stands after falling to Wayne State 3-0 and 7-2 in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader in Detroit.

“We had a 12-day layoff and we certainly played like it,” said GVSU head coach Jamie Detillion. “We definitely failed to execute at the plate and there’s a couple of defensive plays we definitely wish we had back.”

In the opener of the doubleheader, junior lefty Cade Cintorino went head-to-head with the Wayne State Warriors junior right-hander Hunter Brown. Both pitchers were coming off of impressive performances in their previous starts.

Cintorino threw a complete game shutout against West Chester on Sunday, March 10 where he struck out 11 batters and surrendered only five hits. Brown was coming off a five-inning gem where he surrendered one unearned run while striking out eight against reigning Division II national champion Augustana.

“The kid for Wayne State is quite the pitcher,” Detillion said. “There were 15 pro scouts there today to see his stuff, but that still doesn’t mean we couldn’t have beat them.”

Cintorino went on to give up three runs, two of them earned, with three walks and four strikeouts in the loss while Brown tossed a complete game shutout where he struck out eight Lakers and surrendered three walks and four hits. Cintorino is now 2-2 with a 1.96 earned run average on the year.

In game two, GVSU continued to struggle at the plate, but was also plagued by poor execution on the mound and sloppy defense in the infield.

In the first inning, Wayne State loaded the bases only for starter Christian Mercure to walk in the game’s first run when he failed to execute a pitch in a 3-2 count. Mercure managed to get out of the jam only having surrendered one run, but the Warriors had a 1-0 lead they would not relinquish.

In the second inning Mercure was tagged for an RBI double down the right field line off the bat of Wayne State center fielder Ryan Foley to move the Warrior’s lead to 2-0.

The fourth inning featured the beginning of sloppy play by the Lakers in the infield. Foley again reached base and advanced to second on a throwing error by second baseman Alex Mandeville, which allowed Wayne State’s designated hitter Chris Tanderys to score. Warrior’s third baseman Jacob Finkbeiner then scored Foley on an RBI single to move the score to 4-0.

Wayne State right fielder Hunter DeLanoy scored on a throwing error by GVSU first baseman Ryan Blake-Jones in the fifth inning to cushion Wayne State’s lead even more, moving the score to 5-0.

The Warriors tacked on another run in the sixth inning as the Wayne State lead expanded to 6-0 before the Lakers pushed their first run of the game across the plate on a solo home run from left fielder Chase Carpenter.

GVSU and Wayne State each added another run in the seventh to move the final score to 7-2 in favor of the Warriors. After the game, Detillion felt the Lakers needed to show improvement across the board in all facets of the game if they want to be competitive in the GLIAC this year.

“We need to execute when our opportunities are right in front of us and that pertains to all three phases of the game because we need to get better in all of them,” Detillion said. “Hitters need to hit with runners in scoring position, our pitchers have to get better at keeping the ball low in pitchers counts and our defense has to stay focused and play well behind our pitchers too if we want to get better.”

Injuries have also hampered the Lakers. GVSU catcher Joe Laudont left the game with a leg injury as well to add to their problems. Laudont was leading the Lakers in batting average at .421 and was tied for second on the team in RBI with nine.

Up next, GVSU will travel to play Central Michigan on Wednesday, March 27 at 3 p.m. Following that contest, the Lakers travel to face Saginaw Valley State three times in three days, with the game Friday, March 29 starting at 4 p.m., Saturday’s game starting at 1 p.m., and Sunday’s game starting at noon.