Potts Squeeze Bunt Scores Schwanz in 15th; Cardinals Eliminate Storm
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team was victorious over Lake Erie College today (May 11) by a 7-6 final score in 15 innings on day three of the 2012 GLIAC Baseball Tournament. Lake Erie is now eliminated from the GLIAC Tournament as Saginaw Valley will battle Wayne State at approximately 7:00 PM today (May 11).
This game was one the SVSU Baseball team will remember for some time as the Cardinal offense had to come from behind three times in their last at bat to pull out the thrilling victory.
Lake Erie scored one run on two hits in the top of the second inning as the Cardinal infield attempted to turn a difficult double play. The Storm runner just beat out the throw as they took a 1-0 edge.
The Storm would push across two more runs in the top half of the fourth on a throwing error as the Cardinals fell behind 3-0.
Saginaw Valley would answer back in the bottom half of the third with three runs on three hits to tie the contest at 3-3.
Mike VanAlst (Clio, Mich.) got a pitch he liked and belted it of the right field wall to score both Andy Orr (Utica, Mich.) and Brad Schalk (Sterling Heights, Mich./Bishop Foley HS) to put the Cardinals on the scoreboard.
Ryan Ermers (Sterling Heights, Mich/Henry Ford II HS) kept the rally going as he connected on a line drive base hit to the gap in left center to plate VanAlst as SVSU tie up the contest after three innings.
Lake Erie took the lead again in the top of the sixth inning as Cody Blood homered to deep left field as the Storm went ahead 4-3.
SVSU threatened to score in the bottom of the sixth as they recorded a single by Orr and two walks to load the bases with two outs. However, two strikeouts ended the Cardinal sixth inning.
Neither squad was able to produce any offense in the seventh or eighth innings as Lake Erie led 4-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the last chance for the Cardinals.
Cam Wiechmann (Birch Run, Mich./Muskegon CC) came through with a big one out double in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Matt Hunt (Howell, Mich./Concordia University) and tie the game at 4-4. The Cardinals would leave a runner stranded on third base with two outs as the contest went into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Storm forced two throwing errors by the Cardinals as they plated one unearned run to take a 5-4 lead.
In the Cardinals last at bat, they managed to load the bases with one out when Brandon Schwanz (Novi, Mich./Henry Ford CC) hit a fly ball to center field and plated Ermers to tie up the game at 5-5 on the sacrfice fly.
In the bottom of the 11th, VanAlst singled to center field with a man on second base and the Storm center fielder threw him out as he tried to advance home and extend the game. The Cardinals would strand runners on second and third.
The Storm would take the lead once again in the 15th with a two out rally to go ahead 6-5.
However, the 'Cardiac Cardinals' came through in the clutch as they loaded the bases with one out in the 15th inning.
Michael Craig (Milan, Mich.) clutched up with a single passed the first baseman to score Dan Norton (Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central HS), who singled to start the inning. Norton went 2-for-2 and tallied the game-tying run.
The game-winning run advanced home with a great play call by the SVSU coaching staff as Jason Potts (Hartland, Mich.) put down a perfect squeeze bunt as Schwanz sprinted home to score easily and give the Cardinals a 7-6 victory.
Starting pitcher Andrew Tidwell (Canton, Mich.) threw 4.2 innings allowed six hits and one earned run, two unearned with three strikeouts. Mike Schaaf (Saginaw, Mich./Arthur Hill HS) threw three scoreless innings of relief allowing just one hit.
Justin Drzewicki (Bay City, Mich./Central HS) came on in extra innings and tallied five shutout innings allowing one unearned run without giving up a hit. Drzewicki, who usually pitches in a closer role, threw 70 pitches.
Aaron Woods (Menominee, Mich./Minnesota-Duluth) picked up the win as he threw the 15th inning and gave up an unearned run. The Cardinal pitching staff allowed just two earned runs in the contest.
Wiechmann led the SVSU bats going 3-for-6, while Potts, Schalk, VanAlst, Schwanz and Norton all posted two hits apiece in the win.
The Cardinals survive and advance to play Wayne State tonight (May 11) at approximately 7:00 PM.