ADRIAN, Mich. - After fighting back from a three run deficit to tie the ballgame, the Saginaw Valley State University baseball team fell by a score of 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning on the road to Northwood University.
The Timberwolves started right out of the gates by scoring a trio of runs in the bottom of the first inning. After the runs and with two outs and NU's Eric Altman in scoring position, the Cardinals pulled-off the hidden ball trick and SVSU second baseman Dylin Eschenburg tagged Altman out, ending the inning.
The 3-0 lead for the T-Wolves would hold true all the way until the top of the eighth inning. That's when Saginaw Valley would plate two runs the cut the deficit to a single run at 3-2. Tyler Schwanz walked with one out and back-to-back hit-batsmen to Kyle Kaufmann and Chris Perkovich loaded the bases. Niko Gonzalez would pinch-hit next, knocking-in Schwanz for the first run with an RBI groundout. Eschenburg then hit a slow chopper in the hole that was bobbled by the third baseman, allowing Perkovich to score the second run.
After SVSU starter David Freed shut down Northwood in the bottom half of the ining, the Cards entered their last at-bats needing a run to extend play.
A Brad Schalk single, followed by a Richard Guglielmi sac bunt, got SV into scoring position. Connor Foley had a pinch-hit single off the glove of the pitcher and Perkovich was hit once more to load the bases with two outs. Demetrius Dunlap was up next, and he walked on four consecutive pitches to knot the score at 3-3.
Aaron Langlois entered the game on the mound for the Cardinals and started by getting an easy fly ball to right. A bit of mis-communication, however, led to the ball dropping between the center and right fielders to start the inning with a runner on second base. A sacrifice bunt would follow to get the runner to third with one out. Northwood's Zyke Bailey was up next, and he fought-off several pitches and wound-up hitting a ball to the right center gap, pushing across the game-winning run.
Schalk had two hits, including a double, walk and a run scored for SVSU. Schwanz and Perkovich each had a hit and a run as well, with Perkovich reaching on a pair of hit-by-pitches as and a walk.
Freed allowed a single earned run in 8.0 innings on the mound. He scattered nine hits and struck-out three. Langlois (0-1) took the loss in relief.
The loss drops the Cardinals to 4-10 overall and 1-3 in the GLIAC. Northwood improves to 9-8 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Saginaw Valley is slated to play a three game series at Wayne State University beginning on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Stay tuned to the SVSU baseball website for any and all updates on schedule changes that may occur.