UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team opened the home portion of the 2021 schedule with the first of two doubleheaders in two days against Davenport University Friday at the SVSU Baseball Complex.
After falling behind 4-0 in game one, SVSU rallied to cut the deficit to one, but could not find the equalizer, dropping the opener 5-3 in seven innings. In game two, the Cardinals took an early lead, but three Panther home runs powered Davenport to a 13-6 win and the sweep.
The losses drop SVSU to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
In the opener, Davenport scored four in the top of the fifth to break a scoreless tie. SVSU responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning. The Cardinals earned three RBIs in the inning without the benefit of a hit. Thomas Loftus hit into a fielder's choice for the first run, followed by a Martin Money getting hit by a pitch and Austin Koin drawing a bases-loaded walk.
The Panthers found an insurance run in the seventh to secure the win. Hayden Jatczak (1-1) started and was charged with the loss. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits, walking two and striking out six.
The teams went back and forth in the finale, with SVSU scoring one run in six of the nine innings. The Cardinals took the early lead on an RBI sacrifice fly from Money in the first. After Davenport went in front with two in the second, Connor McClennen tied the score with a sacrifice fly of his own in the second for SVSU.
Tucker Roe put the Cardinals back in front with an RBI single in the third, followed by an RBI single from Loftus in the fourth to put SVSU up 4-2. The Panthers hit a pair of home runs to score four runs in the fifth to take the lead.
Brandon Scheurer chipped away at the deficit with an RBI double in the sixth for the Cardinals, but Davenport added two in the seventh, including a solo home run to make it an 8-5 lead. Koin picked up a sacrifice fly in the seventh to narrow the Panther lead again before an RBI single for the visitors in the eighth stretched the lead back to three.
The Panthers scored four in the ninth to put the game away. Eric Fritz (0-1) was charged with the loss on the mound in relief for SVSU, allowing four runs, on three hits, while walking one.
The Cardinals and Panthers play the second of two doubleheaders starting at 12:35 pm Saturday at the SVSU Baseball Complex.