GVSU baseball earns a No. 3 seed and prepares for NCAA Tournament
After a season that has seen its ups and downs, it’s do or die time for the Grand Valley State University baseball team.
The Lakers will set their sights on postseason play, as GVSU (31-16) was selected as the No. 3 seed in this year’s NCAA Division II Midwest regional. They will face St. Joseph’s University (Ind.) on Thursday in Springfield, Mo.
“It’s exciting anytime you get an opportunity to play in the postseason,” said head coach Jamie Detillion. “It’s definitely exciting for the guys on our team. When we go through the recruiting process at Grand Valley, we recruit guys and talk about championships and the history and tradition that we built, so guys come in with expectations to hopefully play for.
This marks the 12th consecutive year that GVSU has earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Lakers are one of three programs in the country to make each of the last 12 tournaments.
GVSU has not played St. Josephs (30-18) this season, but if the season statistics are any indication – expect it to be a pitching duel. GVSU boasts the fourth best ERA (2.57) in the country, while St. Joseph’s is sixth (2.79)
“I know they have some pretty good pitching after looking at statistics,” Detillion said.
The Lakers will likely see Saint Joesph’s ace Jordan Peterson, who was named the GLVC Pitcher of the Year. Peterson was 9-1 on the year with a 1.59 ERA and struck out 84 opposing batters over 96 innings.
“The key for us to come out ready to play in all phases of the game,” Detillion said. “We definitely have the talent to compete and do well, it’s just a matter of showing up and executing and playing well.
GVSU is coming off a runner-up finish in the GLIAC Baseball Tournament. The Lakers recovered from a quarterfinal loss to Ohio Dominican University 7-2 – to defeat Wayne State University (11-0) and Ashland University (9-2) before falling to Ashland in the finale, 6-4.
“The loss against Ohio Dominican was rough because our offense didn’t really come out to play,” said sophomore Mike Nadratowski. “We started playing a lot better and backing up our pitching and putting up more runs for them. Then against Ashland it came down to one or two big hits that we couldn’t come up with and fell a little short at the end.”
Afterwards, junior Giancarlo Brugnoni, sophomores Kevin Zak and Jamie Potts, and freshman Patrick Kelly were named to the GLIAC All-Tournament team.
After almost a weeklong rest, GVSU hopes the extra days off will pay dividends.
“Even with a couple losses, we still played pretty well last weekend in our conference tournament,” Detillion said. “We were a little shorthanded on pitching from the quick turnaround from the regular season to the conference tournament. This week we should be pretty well rested.”