GVSU strands 35 runners in four-game split
Coach: 'We need our seniors to step up and lead our team'
To Grand Valley State skipper Jamie Detillion, one stat stands out from the series at Wayne State: LOB.
GVSU came into the weekend seeking its first GLIAC sweep of the season and had chances to win all four games, but missed opportunities in the batter's box led to a middling result. After 32 innings, the team finished with more hits (30-23), walks (21-11) and runs (21-10) -- but the same number of wins.
Detillion said part of that was a result of guys trying to do too much at the plate.
"A single can score a couple runs," he said.
Though it proved to be somewhat of a disappointing weekend, No. 18 GVSU (15-10, 7-5 GLIAC) still had a number of promising performances both in the box and on the bump.
Jason Ribecky led the way offensively for GVSU in game one, blasting a three-run shot to right field in the top of the first to score Jamie Potts and Jesse Abel. Kevin Zak supplied an insurance run in the second with an RBI-double down the left-field line, scoring leadoff man Mike Nadratowski.
Meanwhile, two-time defending GLIAC North Division Pitcher of the Week Pat Kelly went the distance through seven innings in a three-hit, no-walk gem for his third straight shutout victory (3-1).
Only two other Lakers have accomplished such a feat since 2000.
“I’m not a strikeout pitcher,” said Kelly, who threw just 65 pitches in the 5-0 win. “I know teams are going to hit me, but by keeping the ball low the game goes by much quicker.”
Game two had a much different dynamic, as GVSU went to its bullpen before recording a single out. The day ended early for reigning GLIAC Pitcher of the Year Evan Nietfeldt, who gave up three runs.
Josh Griffith filled in nicely, surrendering five hits and three walks through six innings. Kevin Hallberg took over in the seventh, but took the loss (2-1) as Wayne State walked off with a 5-4 win in the ninth.
GVSU's best all-around performance came in game three on Saturday, a 9-1 win.
Zach Anderson (3-0) threw a complete seven-inning game, giving up three hits, two walks and one run. He had plenty of run support, as the Lakers came through with nine runs off nine hits and eight RBIs.
The heart of the order led the charge offensively: Abel went 3-for-4, Zak went 1-for-2 with a double and three RBIs while Potts went 2-for-4 with a three-run shot in the sixth, which scored Abel and Zak.
In game four, GVSU kept the momentum going with eight hits and nine walks -- but only two runs. Wayne State played small ball and played it well, earning a series split with a 4-2 victory. Aaron Jensen was charged with his second straight loss (3-2). He gave up three hits, four walks and two runs.
“We’ve got to get better at situational hitting,” Potts said. “It’s not exactly something you can practice, but over the course of the season guys are going to get better at it.”
GVSU heads to Northwood for a doubleheader on Wednesday starting at 2 p.m.