UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - Trailing late in Sunday's home game against Ohio Dominican University, the Saginaw Valley State University baseball team showed its mettle once again, scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and closing-out a 4-3 comeback victory over the Panthers.
The Cardinals now stand at 16-22 overall on the season and 13-15 in the GLIAC. The Panthers fall to 22-21 overall and 12-16 in the league after suffering the weekend sweep.
The Panthers knotted things up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth on an RBI single from Jacob Horsley.
In the bottom of the fifth, SVSU would add another run to take a 2-1 lead. Perkovich singled with two outs and stole second on the first pitch to set the stage for Michael Craig. Craig came through, drilling a hard grounder through the middle to score Perkovich.
Ohio Dominican, however, would add two runs in the top of the seventh inning to grab a 3-2 advantage.
The game's next action came in the bottom of the eighth inning, which is where SV would capitalize on some Panther mistakes to regain the lead.
Perkovich led the inning off by reaching first on a throwing error by the ODU second baseman that just pulled the first baseman off the bag.
The pitcher then tried picking-off Perkovich and the ball was mishandled by the first baseman, allowing him to reach second base.
With Craig at the plate, he laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an errant throw by the Panther third baseman, advancing to second base on the error. Perkovich scored on the throw to make the score 3-3.
On the next pitch, Brad Schalk missed on a bunt attempt, but the catcher attempted to throw behind Craig at second and sent the ball out into center field. Craig would move to third on the throwing error.
After ODU intentionally walked Kyle Kaufmann to set up a possible double play, the Cardinals had men on first and third with one out.
Valutis dug-in the batter's box next and sent another sac fly out to right field, scoring Craig with the go-ahead run to make the score 4-3.
That's what the scoreboard would read heading into the top of the ninth.
Reetz had two outs with a man on first base, but threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt at first base, allowing ODU's Dylan West to move all the way up to third. He would bear down though, striking-out the game's final batter to preserve the sweep.
Freed picked-up the victory for the Cardinals and Reetz notched his third save of the year and second in as many days.
Dylan Wisniewski had a solid start on the bump for SV, as he left with a 2-1 lead after tossing five innings, allowing one run on five hits with three strikeouts.
Craig was 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a walk while Tyler Schwanz added a pair of hits as well in four at-bats. Valutis went hitless, but had the two critical RBIs on a pair of sacrifice flies. Perkovich had a hit and scored three of the four Cardinal runs while Connor Foley had the sixth Cardinal hit.
The Cardinals have won 10 out of their last 14 games and now find themselves in seventh place in the GLIAC standings. The top six teams advance to participate in the annual league tournament. The Tiffin Dragons currently occupy the sixth spot with a 12-13 record (.480), which is just ahead of SVSU's winning percentage of .464 (13-15).
Saginaw Valley stays at home for a single nine inning game versus Hillsdale on Wednesday (Apr. 30). The two teams split this past Wednesday and the Chargers are just behind SV for the seventh spot in the league with a 13-16 GLIAC record. The game is slated to start at 2:00 pm at the SVSU Baseball Complex.