GVSU takes two of three in Allendale
Game four moved to Tuesday at 3 p.m. (nine innings)
For starting pitcher Zach Anderson, it takes a well-worked routine to endure the elements of northern baseball.
“You try not to think about it,” Anderson said. “Before the game really starts, you try to stay away from the elements and in the dugout by the heater the whole time.”
The junior right-hander seemingly used the 19 mph winds to his advantage on Sunday as host Grand Valley State cruised to an 11-1 victory over Saginaw Valley State in game three of the weather-shortened weekend.
“Zach Anderson threw a really good game, gave us a chance to win,” said GVSU coach Jamie Detillion. “Couple mistakes here and there, but we’re learning; I think we’re getting better.
"We just need to roll with this and establish some consistency as a team. On cold days like this, it’s tough to hit, but we still need to grind it out as a team and find ways to get on base. And when we do get a good pitch to hit, we’ve got to take advantage of it.”
Anderson (W, 2-1) didn’t give SVSU much to hit in his fourth start, scattering just three hits and one run across 6.1 innings while striking out, and beaming, four.
He started to adjust after the fourth HBP.
“A couple of those curveballs, I was trying to get a little too cute with them,” he said. “I tried to start them at the batter and then break them in for a called strike, but I ended up leaving them up and not really snapping them off so they kind of floated and just hit them.
“That’s when I started going to that slider...”
GVSU, which split with SVSU on Saturday with a 5-1 loss and a 5-0 win, brought plenty of offense to the seven-inning tilt. The Lakers roughed up SVSU pitching to the tune of 12 hits, scoring three runs in the first, one in the third, three in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Seven Lakers came through with at least one hit, and the top of the order; Mike Nadratowski, Jesse Abel and Kevin Zak; went a combined 7-for-10 on the day with five RBIs and five runs scored.
“We’re starting to make some progress,” said Nadratowski, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two doubles and three runs. “Today we looked good. We drove the ball, but with a big lead it’s easy to get complacent. I’d like to see us as a team, no matter what the score is -- up five, down five -- continue to have good at-bats and not give in just because we’re up big.”
The 11-run performance was nothing like game one on Saturday when the Lakers couldn’t find an answer for SVSU sophomore ace Scott Sency. Sency gave up just five hits across six scoreless innings, moving to 3-0 on the year while GVSU’s Aaron Jensen took his first loss, falling to 3-1.
GVSU starter Patrick Kelly came up big in the nine-inning nightcap, however, surrendering eight hits and no runs through 7.2 innings. Relievers Tyler Lozen and Matt Williams secured the win from there.
For Detillion, the 2-1 weekend is a chance to build some momentum as GVSU (12-8, 4-3 GLIAC) moves forward in conference play.
“The more we practice outside and the more batting practice we take, our talent’s going to play at some point,” Detillion said. “The big thing is consistency, just preparing every day and letting each day be a building block versus a new starting point.”