Lakers continue to crush GLIAC conference
Two days off during the middle of the week sounds like a vacation to most college students, and it might as well have been one for the Grand Valley State University baseball team.
The Lakers improved to 27-3 on the season and an incredible 16-1 in conference play after crushing Hillsdale College and Northwood University by a combined four-game score of 32-4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Schepel improved to 6-0 in the nightcap on Wednesday, as the Lakers defeated Northwood 11-0. Schepel went five innings while striking out four batters, a routine outing for the junior whose ERA is now down to just 0.64.
Junior centerfielder Cody Grice, junior left fielder Steve Anderson and red shirt freshman Giancarlo Brugnoni all had 3 RBI, while junior second baseman Garrett Yatch scored four of the Laker’s 11 runs.
The Lakers took game one of the doubleheader 6-3 after a four run sixth inning. Brugnoni went 3-3 with 3 RBI and sophomore reliever Brad Zambron got the win, improving to 2-1.
“I’ve got pretty good command and I’m throwing strikes, but really what has helped me the most has been embracing the pressure situations,” Zambron said.
Zambron leads the team with 5 saves as well as 13 appearances. He cited confidence and playing time as the main reasons for his significant contributions to the team.
On Tuesday, the Lakers won game one against Hillsdale 11-0. Freshman Bill Maple improved to 4-0 on the season behind six innings of one-hit ball.
The freshman has yet to allow an earned run in his 19 innings of work, and credited his defense for his success.
“I attribute the success I’ve had and my record to my defense,” Maple said. “Those guys make plays to save my butt.”
Senior shortstop Andrew Trepel led the way for the Lakers offensively, going 2-3 on the day with 3 RBI and a run scored. Yatch went 2-3 with two runs and one RBI, while Anderson scored three times and added an RBI.
In the Tuesday nightcap, the Lakers won 4-1 with reliever Chris Whitney earning the win in relief to improve to 3-0 on the season. Junior catcher Jared Cowan went 2-3 with 2 RBI and scored a run.
After the four game series, the Laker’s team ERA is down to just 2.48, which Maple and Zambron attributed to the pitching staff’s work ethic.
“A lot of guys bought into our coaches system of throwing first pitch strikes and not trying to do too much,” Zambron said. “We’re not trying to strike everyone out and are just letting (opponents) put the ball in play and get themselves out.”
The Lakers will be back in action this weekend, looking to add to their GLIAC lead with a four-game series at Tiffin University. They will play a doubleheader on Saturday, with game one at 1:00 p.m. and game two scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The two teams will play another twinbill on Sunday, with game one scheduled for noon and game two beginning at 3:00 p.m.