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Baseball Completes Weekend Sweep With 9-8 Walk-off Victory Over Pioneers

Baseball Completes Weekend Sweep With 9-8 Walk-off Victory Over Pioneers

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - Facing its second deficit in the last at-bat in as many days, the Saginaw Valley State University baseball team posted another comeback victory on Sunday (Apr. 13), this time a 9-8 decision over the Malone University Pioneers.  The victory was in a single, nine-inning game that completed a weekend sweep for the Cardinals.

SVSU got out to a running start, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning to hold an early 4-0 advantage.  A Kyle Kaufmann RBI single scored Chris Perkovich and Luke Valutis would score the second run on a wild pitch.  Richard Guglielmi would follow, lacing an RBI single up the middle to plate Kaufmann and Tyler Schwanz for the other two runs.

After Malone scored a run in the top of the second, the Cards added another pair of runs to grab a 6-1 lead.  A single by Valutis allowed Michael Craig to cross the plate and Kaufmann would add another RBI single, scoring Brad Schalk.

The Pioneers would strike next in a big way, scoring four in the top of the fourth and three in the fifth inning to take an 8-6 lead.

Both teams' offense would go dormant from there, as there were all zeros put up until the bottom of the ninth inning.  That's when SV came up to the plate with its last chance, trailing by two runs.

Schalk led-off the frame with a towering shot over the center fielder's head, good enough for a triple to get things rolling.  Valutis would walk next and was lifted for pinch-runner Demetrius Dunlap.  

Malone went to closer Brad Beachy for the next batter and he got Kaufmann promptly for the first out of the inning with a strikeout.  Schwanz stepped in next and drilled an RBI single to center, scoring Schalk to make the score 8-7.  After Dunlap moved to second on the hit, he advanced to third with a great jump on a wild pitch that barely got away from the catcher.

Pinch-hitter Dennis Kan would walk, setting up a bases loaded situation with one out and Dylin Eschenburg due up next.  

Eschenburg hit a chopper to third base and the third baseman started the double play turn with a good throw to second base for the second out.  Malone second baseman Richie Mast turned and threw to first, but the throw short-hopped first baseman Logan Gray, who was unable to come up with the scoop and the ball trickled past him.

Schwanz scored from third right away, but the errant throw allowed Dunlap to come around and score the game-winning run to seal the 9-8 comeback win.

The Cards registered 12 hits in the game, with Kaufmann and Schwanz notching three-apiece.  Kaufmann had two RBIs and Schwanz one.  Craig had a pair of hits and Guglielmi had the single and two RBIs.  Schalk was on base three times, ripping the huge triple and walking twice.

David Freed earned his first-career victory in a solid relief effort.  He worked four innings, allowing just three hits, no runs and striking-out three.

After the 3-0 weekend, SVSU improves to 9-18 overall and 6-11 in the GLIAC.  The Cardinals will be back in action on Wednesday (Apr. 16), as they host Grand Valley State University for a single, nine-inning contest.  First pitch is set for 2:00 pm at the SVSU Baseball Complex.