GVSU baseball splits series in Music City
Battlers rally in seventh inning, walk off in game two
The Grand Valley State baseball team was three outs away from a momentum-building sweep.
Alderson Broaddus had other ideas.
No. 21 GVSU cruised to an 11-3 victory in game one and led 5-3 late in game two on Saturday, but a shaky seventh inning from the Laker bullpen led to a three-run rally and a 6-5 walk-off win for A-B in the nightcap.
“From our standpoint, at some point the talent is going to play in,” said GVSU coach Jamie Detillion. “It’s a little bit different since we don’t get to get outside and have competitive situations in practice, so we’ve got to learn on the fly in the game. We’ve got talent and we’ve got competitive kids...”
The Lakers (7-5, 0-0 GLIAC) had been on the flip side of similar late-inning situations this season, walking off in two of their seven wins. The team falls to 4-1 in games decided by one run.
In game one, GVSU was firing on all cylinders with senior ace Aaron Jensen (2-0) on the mound. Jensen gave up five hits, two runs and two walks through five innings while striking out six.
The 6-foot-8 righty is back to fanning batters and trusting his defense after a rough regular season debut against Gannon on March 2.
“I didn’t want to get too shaken up after that first start,” he said. “It’s not me. I had a good amount of consistency last year and I wasn’t going to let that get me too rattled."
With a slider and an improved changeup added to his arsenal, the 2014 All-GLIAC First Team selection has 14 strikeouts in his last two starts. Run support hasn’t hurt, either.
“I’ve got to give it up to the offense,” he said.
GVSU’s five-through-nine hitters supplied seven of GVSU’s eight hits and all eight RBIs in game one. Senior third baseman Aaron Overbeck led the charge, going 2-for-3 on the day with a career-high five RBIs. His three-run blast to left broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the third inning.
“I was thinking about bunting before the pitch came,” Overbeck said. “I ended up swinging and got a pitch that I could drive...It was a good momentum-booster, we scored some more runs after that so it got the scoring going and it gave our pitchers more help and more confidence.”
Junior right-hander Patrick Kelly came through with a quality start in game two, yielding seven hits, two runs and no walks through five innings. Classmate Tim Tarter took over in the sixth, giving up two hits and one unearned run. Sophomore Matt Williams (2-2) came in to seal the deal for GVSU with a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh, but the Battler batters battled back in a hurry.
After two walks and two wild pitches put runners on the corners with no outs, A-B’s Marquis Collier made it a 5-4 game with an RBI single to right field. GVSU junior Zach Anderson, who served up a 1-2-3 seventh inning in game one, came in to relieve Williams from there, but loaded the bases after the ump ruled A-B’s Luke Shiflett was hit by a pitch. A-B senior third baseman Travis Hurley sent the next pitch down the left-field line for a two-RBI double, and the Battlers walked off.
“We just kind of fell apart in the last inning,” Detillion said. “We didn’t execute on some pitches, but we have talent and I’m positive that certain guys will get it done in certain situations.”
GVSU opens GLIAC play Saturday at Ohio Dominican, where the Lakers and Panthers will play four times in two days.