GVSU offense strong again in win at Aquinas
Ribecky, Lakers surge past Saints with season-high 16 hits
Jason Ribecky (left) and Josh Smith (right)
After a disappointing series split against Alderson Broaddus in Tennessee over the weekend, the Grand Valley State baseball team came roaring back with an 11-7 victory at Aquinas on Monday.
No. 21 GVSU (8-5) showcased its depth offensively in the 16-hit performance, recording five doubles and six-extra base hits. All nine batters reached base, and eight of those nine batters had a hit. The team also recorded season highs in walks with seven and total bases with 24.
The Lakers trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning, but quickly stole the momentum with timely hitting and patience at the plate. After a leadoff walk from shortstop Josh Smith, the offense came to life with a five-hit, seven-run third. Three of those hits went for extra bases.
“Most people think that when you have a big inning it always has to come with a home run or an extra-base hit," said GVSU coach Jamie Detillion. "Most of the time it’s the little things that lead to big innings, like walks, and that is exactly what started our seven-run inning.
“I am very happy about this victory, we still have some things to work on as a team but hopefully this will help us roll into the conference season."
The Lakers extended their lead in the fifth when junior outfielder Jason Ribecky blasted a solo shot, the first of his career, over the right-center fence to make it 8-3.
“It takes the pressure off the pitchers when we are able to score that many runs, have that many hits and give them a big lead to work with,” Ribecky said.
Ribecky went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. In his last two starts, he has gone 5-for-7 at the plate with a home run, five RBIs, two doubles and three runs scored.
Leadoff hitter Mike Nadratowski also crossed the plate three times, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
“We played a good game offensively, and the bullpen did a good job nailing down the victory for us," Nadratowski said.
Right-hander Kevin Hallberg (2-0) filled in nicely for starter Evan Nietfeldt in the fourth inning, earning his second win of the season by throwing four scoreless innings and striking out three.
Matt Williams picked up the save in the ninth inning, his third of the year.
GVSU opens GLIAC play this weekend with four games at Ohio Dominican.