GV baseball experiences season-opening success

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GVSU Lakers Baseball Team

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GVL / Archive GVSU Lakers Baseball Team

Stephanie Deible

In the opening weekend of the 2012 season, the Grand Valley State University baseball team used timely hitting and solid pitching to sweep a double header from Bellarmine University, before dropping the final contest of the three-game series.

Monday, the Lakers downed the Knights (1-2) twice by the identical score of 2-1.

GVSU head coach Steve Lyon said the execution of the pitching staff took some of the pressure of the offense that was struggling.

The Lakers (2-1) were able to push two runs across in the second inning with the help of a Bellarmine error after junior second baseman Stephen Claypool drew a walk and redshirt freshman Kevin Zak delivered a double.

Claypool said the Lakers were focused on putting the ball in the play and putting pressure on the defense. Two runs
proved to be all the run support the GVSU pitching staff would need.

Senior Kyle Schepel was credited with the win for the Lakers after pitching five innings and allowing one run.

“It felt good to get out there, be in some warm weather and play some ball with a good team behind me,” Schepel said. “Everyone pitched really well on Monday and (Tuesday), too. We were all working together to try and break down each batter and pitch to our strengths.”

With only three hits in the night cap, the Lakers were able to manufacture runs off of a pair of sacrifice fly’s by sophomore Giancarlo Brugnoni and Zak.

“Anytime you get a base hit with less than two outs, it’s really critical to score them,” Lyon said. “We were able to do that in both games.”

With the Laker offense stagnating, senior Cory Baker, a transfer from the University of North Dakota held his own on the mound.

“(Baker) was fantastic,” Lyon said. “We knew he had the talent, we threw him for a few innings in Cuba and we saw him in the fall, but this was his first outing for our season. It was a good, tight game and did outstanding, gave up one
hit, a couple walks and really dominated from the get go.”

On Tuesday, GVSU faced its first deficit of the season and could not generate enough offense to overcome the Knights in a 5-3 loss.

A Claypool triple in the fifth inning tied the game at three, but the Lakers could not scratch another run across.

“We did not do a good job of driving runs in with less than two outs (Tuesday),” Lyon said. “A good example of that is when Claypool hit a triple, he was on third base with one out … we need to be able to drive that run in.”

Bellarmine took advantage of GVSU’s missed opportunities at the plate and stole home to recaptured the lead in the sixth.

“It was a first and third situation and they sent the runner from first,” Lyon said. “We have really capable defenders so we threw the ball down to second and when the runner on third broke for home, we were not able to get the ball back to home … we really didn’t defend it that well, but it’s early in the season and I’m hoping if it happens again we’ll handle that situation a little better.”

The Lakers will look to sharpen their game when travel to Florida over spring break, where they will play seven games in seven days.

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