UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team posted a 2-1 walk-off victory in the opening game of the Cardinals' Tuesday doubleheader against rival Northwood University. After holding a brief lead in the second game, SVSU would fall in the nightcap by a score of 6-5 as the teams would split the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader.
The Timberwolves struck first in the top of the third inning as an RBI single put Northwood up 1-0.
Both starting pitchers kept their opponent in-check up until the bottom of the seventh inning when the Cards came to the plate looking for another walk-off victory.
Richard Guglielmi led the inning off with a single up the middle and was lifted for pinch-runner Connor Dwyer. Another Connor moved Dwyer to second, as Connor Foley laid down a well-executed sacrifice bunt to set up a runner at second with one out.
Schalk did the job at the plate, hitting a fly ball to left field, deep enough to plate Dwyer with the game-winning run to seal the 2-1 victory with the sac fly.
It marked the third victory of the season for SVSU righty Pete Baumgartner. Baumgartner pitched a complete game, scattering six hits and allowing a single run while striking-out three Timberwolves.
Craig had a big game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Luke Valutis was 2-for-3 in the contest. Perkovich and Schalk had the RBIs for SVSU in the victory.
Northwood got to SVSU starter Shane Cochran early, knocking him out after one inning by scoring two early runs off of two hits, a hit by pitch and pair of walks. The T-Wolves added another run in the top of the second to hold a 3-0 lead.
Saginaw Valley made the score 3-1 with a run in the bottom of the second. Kyle Kaufmann reached on a missed pop-up by the NU pitcher. On a day with very high winds, Kaufmann ran hard the whole way and reached second base when the ball hit off the pitcher's glove and rolled towards the visitor's dugout. After Kaufmann moved up to third on a wild pitch, a Valutis groundout scored him with the unearned run.
The Cardinals would tack-on three more runs in the bottom half of the next inning to grab the 4-3 advantage. A Kaufmann RBI single to center field scored Craig and a Valutis double over the right fielder's head knocked-in Schalk and Kaufmann.
The Timberwolves, however, would respond with a three runs of their own to re-take the lead at 6-4.
SVSU would come to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with the opportunity to post another dramatic comeback. After an early flyout and Craig walk, a sharp single by Schalk to right center moved Craig to third and set up a first and third with one out.
Kaufmann dug-in next and lined-out to center field, but the sacrifice hit was able to score Craig from third, cutting the deficit to 6-5 with two outs.
Vaultis was due up next and hit the ball very hard, but it was lined directly at the Northwood second baseman, who squeezed the final out and sealed the one run victory and split for the day.
Valutis had a hit with three RBIs in the game while Kaufmann had one base knock and a pair of RBIs. Schalk reached base three times with a hit and two walks.
The Cardinals (12-21, 9-14 GLIAC) return to action Wednesday (Apr. 23), as they travel to Hillsdale College for a mid-week doubleheader with the Chargers. It will be games three and four of the seven total for this week for SVSU. The first game is set to begin at 2:00 pm.