GVSU baseball pulls off road series win over Lewis

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Tate Brawley (22) and Connor Glick (16) fist bump at the mound after closing out an inning during the game vs. Ashland on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

GVL/Kevin Sielaff – Tate Brawley (22) and Connor Glick (16) fist bump at the mound after closing out an inning during the game vs. Ashland on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

Brady McAtamney

Friday, March 16: GVSU 5, Lewis 2

On a chilly afternoon in Romeoville, Illinois, the Lakers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead starting with an RBI single off the bat of first baseman Ryan Blake-Jones. Three batters later, third baseman Ricky Clark reached on a bases-loaded error, allowing two unearned runs to score. The three first-inning runs would be all the Lakers needed, but they managed to score twice more in the fifth inning, once again courtesy of a Blake-Jones RBI single.

Ryan Arnold pitched eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out four on his way to his fourth win of the season (4-0). Kyle Lawson came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning, allowing only one baserunner via a walk.

The Lakers compiled 10 hits on the afternoon with eight combined coming from Blake-Jones, left fielder Zach Berry, right fielder Jacob Gleason and shortstop Alex Mandeville, all of whom had two hits each.

Saturday, March 17: GVSU 5, Lewis 3 

On a day nearly identical to the last in terms of weather, GVSU once again gained an early lead when Blake-Jones reached on an error by the Flyers’ third baseman in the first inning, allowing Zach Berry to score. The 1-0 lead would hold up until the fourth when—guess who—Blake-Jones hit his team-high third home run of the season to left field, tallying the Lakers’ lead to 2-0.

However, Lewis would show some fight in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs to take their first lead of the series. They would take that lead into the eighth when Gleason’s sacrifice fly knotted the score at 3. Then, in the ninth inning, the Lakers added two unearned runs to secure their eventual 5-3 win.

Josh D. Smith pitched five innings in long relief for GVSU, retiring every batter he faced while striking out five. The performance earned him his first win of 2018 (1-1).

Sunday, March 18: GVSU 10, Lewis 11

In the closest game of the weekend, the Flyers completed a massive comeback, scoring six runs in the sixth inning while trailing 10-5.

The Lakers had scored in each of the first five innings to build up the advantage, including runs from a Blake-Jones three-run homer in the first extra-base hits from Berry and Gleason in the fifth.

However, the Flyers scored just enough at the end of the game to pull off the victory, shutting the Lakers out in the top of the seventh in the front end of a doubleheader.

GVSU’s offensive attack was led by the middle of the order, with the two through five hitters combining for nine of the team’s 11 hits with six RBIs and eight runs scored.

Sunday, March 18: GVSU 7, Lewis 4

In danger of tying a series they once led 2-0, the Lakers pulled off the win in the rubber match of the four-game set in Romeoville.

For the second time of the day, GVSU got off to a relatively strong start, scoring in three of the first four innings, including a four-run fourth fueled by a Blake-Jones’ two-run single and Austin LaDoux’s double to drive in two more.

LaDoux was the star of the show, collecting three hits in four at-bats while driving in four runs and scoring one on a solo home run in the second inning.

The Laker bullpen held the game down with Noah Lamboley pitching 3.1 innings, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out two. Lawson came on for the bottom of the seventh to retire the Flyers in order with two strikeouts sprinkled in to earn his fifth save of the season.

After the 3-1 weekend, the Lakers are now 11-8 in 2018.