PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team split with Lake Erie College today (Apr. 29) as the Storm took game one, 7-3, before the Cardinals won game two, 6-5. The split moves the Cardinals to 22-20 overall on the season and 18-12 in the GLIAC, while the Storm go to 24-20 overall and 20-10 in the conference.
After a scoreless first inning of action, the Cardinals took the early advantage with three runs in the top of the second.
Brad Schalk (Sterling Heights, Mich./Bishop Foley HS) started the rally with a leadoff double to right center field. The extra base hit was followed by two strikeouts and a hit by pitch before Matt Hunt (Howell, Mich./Concordia University) doubled down the right field line to plate Schalk and Mike VanAlst (Clio, Mich.) giving SVSU a 2-0 lead.
The two-out rally was capped off with a Brandon Schwanz (Novi, Mich./Henry Ford CC) RBI single up the middle to score Hunt and give the Cardinals a 3-0 advantage.
Saginaw Valley took the same 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning when Lake Erie scored five runs with two outs on a two-run double followed by a three-run home run to give the Storm a 5-3 edge. Lake Erie added runs in the fourth and fifth innings to stretch the lead to 7-3.
Starting pitcher Andrew Doyle (Grand Blanc, Mich./Powers Catholic HS) was the pitcher of record for SVSU as he threw four innings giving up six runs, five earned, on five hits while striking out three.
The Cardinal offense pounded out 11 hits in the contest and were led by Schwanz who notched three hits and an RBI while Hunt tallied two hits and an RBI.
Saginaw Valley again jumped out in front of Lake Erie early with two runs on two hits in the top of the second inning.
Cam Wiechmann (Birch Run, Mich./Muskegon CC) started things for the Cardinal offense with a leadoff double down the left field line. Brad Schalk continued his stellar play with an RBI single to left center field and advanced to third scoring Wiechmann to give SVSU the 1-0 edge.
The next batter was Ryan Ermers (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II HS) who perfectly executed a squeeze bunt to score Schalk from third giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead after two innings.
However, Lake Erie answered back in the bottom of the third scoring three runs on two hits including a two-run home run to take a 3-2 lead over the Cardinals. The Storm would tack on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth as they connected on yet another two-run home run to take a 5-2 advantage.
The Cardinal offense did not back down as they mounted a comeback in the sixth inning. After a leadoff walk by Brad Schalk, Andy Orr (Novi, Mich.) came to the plate and crushed a fly ball over the right center field fence for a home run, his first of the season, to bring the Cardinals within one, 5-4.
Colin Coulter (Clio, Mich./Powers Catholic HS) got the start on the mound for SVSU as he threw five innings allowing five hits and five runs, while striking out four.
The SVSU bats would not go down easily in the top of the seventh as the Cardinals put together a two-out rally as Schwanz connected on a single to center field to score both Hunt and Josh Vroman (Riverview, Mich./Riverview HS). Hunt scored to give Schwanz an RBI on the play, while Vroman advanced home after a throwing error by the center fielder to give SVSU a 6-5 lead.
Closer Justin Drzewicki (Bay City, Mich./Central HS) came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh and seal the 6-5 Cardinal victory as he put down the Storm batters in order to pick up his fourth save of the season.
Relief pitcher Aaron Woods (Menominee, Mich./Minnesota-Duluth) picked up his first win of the season as he threw a scoreless sixth inning allowing one hit while striking out three batters.
The SVSU offense was led by Ermers and Wiechmann who tallied two hits a piece, while Orr posted the big home run in the sixth as the Cardinals rallied to split a big weekend series with Lake Erie, the No. 2 team in the conference.
Saginaw Valley, currently sitting fourth in the GLIAC, will return to action on Wednesday (May 2) to finish out their home schedule with a doubleheader against Wayne State, currently third, starting at 2:00 PM.