March 25, 2012

Cardinals Sweep Hillsdale 6-5, 3-2

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team was victorious in two, one-run contests today (Mar. 25) against Hillsdale, 6-5 and 3-2. The Cardinals improve to 7-8 on the season and 4-0 in the conference, while the Chargers are now 2-14 on the year and 0-4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Game 1

SVSU got out to a rough start as Hillsdale put up three runs in the top of the first. Saginaw Valley's first run of the day came in the third inning as Brandon Schwanz (Novi, Mich./Henry Ford CC) singled down the left field line on a 2-2 pitch to score Chris Perkovich (Canton, Mich.), who reached on an error earlier in the inning.

The Cardinals would close the deficit to 3-2 as Michael Craig (Milan, Mich.) hustled around the bases on a two-out popup, which eventually dropped to the fortune of SVSU and allowed Craig to score.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Chet LaFave (Charlotte, Mich./Olney Central College) connected on a 1-1 pitch over the left fielder's head for a two-RBI double to score Mike VanAlst (Clio, Mich.) and Schwanz. Two batters later, a Hillsdale throwing error would bring the Cardinals two more runs as LaFave and Andy Orr (Utica, Mich.) touched home plate to give SVSU the 6-3 lead.

With SVSU holding onto a 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh, Justin Drzewicki (Bay City, Mich./Bay City Central HS) shut the door and picked up the save by striking out the final two batters as Hillsdale stranded a runner on third. Starting pitcher Eric Hummel (Menominee, Mich./Minnesota-Duluth) picked up his first win of the season as he threw 99 pitches in six innings of work allowing just three hits, two earned runs and four strikeouts.

Matt Hunt (Howell, Mich./Concordia University) recorded two hits in the leadoff spot for the Cardinals in game one.

Game 2

The Cardinals jumped on the scoreboard first in game two on an RBI single to left center by VanAlst to score Craig, who walked earlier in the top of the first. However, Hillsdale would battle back and take a 2-1 advantage which would hold until the bottom half of the fifth inning.

Kyle Parks (Flushing, Mich.) led off the fifth inning by taking a 3-2 pitch to right center field for a single. After Parks preceeded to steal second base, Craig knocked a seeing eye single up the middle to plate Parks and bring the Cardinals even with the Chargers at 2-2.

Neither team was able to push another run across until the eighth inning when Ryan Ermers (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II HS) ripped a game-winning RBI single up the middle to bring home Perkovich, who pinch ran for Jason Potts (Hartland, Mich.) earlier in the inning. The clutch hit gave SVSU a 3-2 victory and a weekend series sweep to open conference play.

VanAlst and Orr both recorded two hits each in the game two victory.

Starting pitcher Colin Coulter (Clio, Mich./Powers Catholic HS) remained perfect on the season as he moves to 3-0 after yet another complete game. Coulter allowed seven hits and two runs, none of which were earned, while striking out six batters.

The Cardinals will continue their conference homestand with a weekend series against Findlay next Saturday (Mar. 31) and Sunday (Apr. 1).