GVL / Luke Holmes -  Josh Smith (9) steps up to the plate. GVSU Men's Baseball faced off against Ohio Dominican in a double header on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

GVSU baseball captures six wins during Florida trip

While most of the student body spent their spring break catching up on sleep, drowning in work or getting sunburned somewhere tropical, the Grand Valley State baseball team had a rather productive break in Kissimmee, Florida. The Lakers went 6-3 over the break, including a five-game win streak to improve their overall record to 8-7.

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GVL / Luke Holmes -  Josh Smith (9) steps up to the plate. GVSU Men's Baseball faced off against Ohio Dominican in a double header on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Preview: Depth, confidence lead GVSU baseball into new season

The 2017 Grand Valley State baseball team was a good one. They finished the season 31-23 and relied heavily on their offensive presence to win games due to a litany of injuries within the pitching staff, hampering their ability to get outs reliably. Despite not winning the GLIAC Championship, the Lakers had a productive season. The players learned a lot about themselves, and the coaches learned how they can get better. This season—the 2018 Lakers—is when better comes to light, even with the lost production of the now-graduated Seth Johnson, Matt Williams, Alex Young and Keith Browning.

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Matt Williams (7) takes a swing during the game vs. Ashland on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

Highs and lows

GVSU finished with a 31-23 season record and 17-15 record in conference play. It was well below what they finished with in 2016 (36-18-1) and 2015 (34-18) and even 2014 (39-13). It is the worst record GVSU has had in over a decade.

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - GVSU transfer pitchers pose for a photo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

GVSU pitching staff bolstered by five transfers

After the 2016 season, the Grand Valley State baseball team returned only one starting pitcher that exceeded 40 innings pitched, Kyle Lawson. The GLIAC All-Second Team selection led the team in innings pitched the previous season. In the first game of the 2017 season, Lawson took the mound and cruised through the first three innings, allowing only one run and two hits with six strikeouts. He started the fourth inning with two more strikeouts. On pace for a dominating start, he left the game in the fourth inning with an apparent arm injury. In the next couple weeks, Lawson received Tommy-John surgery, officially ending his season and leaving a large hole to fill in GVSU’s rotation.

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GVL / Luke Holmes -  Josh Smith (9) nails a double. GVSU Men's Baseball faced off against Ohio Dominican in a double header on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

GVSU baseball sweeps doubleheader over Ashland

The Grand Valley State baseball team won both games of a Wednesday doubleheader on the road against the Ashland Eagles Wednesday, April 19 by scores of 11-7 and 14-8. With the victories, the Lakers have swept the season series with Ashland after winning two games the previous week at home.

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GVL / Luke Holmes -  Jake Mason (33) throws the pitch. GVSU Men's Baseball faced off against Ohio Dominican in a double header on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

GVSU baseball wins three of four over Lake Erie

After completing its first doubleheader sweep since February, the Grand Valley State baseball team won three of four games against Lake Erie Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15. The Lakers won the first pair of games 4-1 and 12-4 before splitting the second twin bill with a 7-4 loss and a 16-7 win.

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