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Baseball Sweeps Wayne State in Mid-Week Doubleheader

Adam Fitzgibbon had a pair of doubles in the opening victory...
Adam Fitzgibbon had a pair of doubles in the opening victory...

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The SVSU baseball team notched its first GLIAC doubleheader sweep of the 2016 season after defeating the Wayne State University Warriors twice on Wednesday afternoon (Apr. 13). The Cardinals used a Dylan Schultz game-tying home run in the opener and a Brendan Harrison squeeze bunt to claim a 3-2 victory in eight innings. SVSU then grabbed a 6-2 win in the second game to take both halves of the twinbill.

Saginaw Valley now stands at 14-16 overall on the season and is an even 6-6 in the GLIAC. The Warriors drop to 15-14 overall and 7-5 in league play.

Wednesday's opening game saw SV take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third after Adam Fitzgibbon tucked a double inside the left field line to score Dylin Eschenburg for the first run.

Wayne State responded right away and knotted the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning with an unearned run.

The game went through seven complete innings tied at 1-1 and went into the eighth inning. In the top half of that frame, the Cards had two outs with a runner on third. Wayne State's Justin Kelly struck-out on a pitch in the dirt, but the pitch got loose and allowed Kelly to reach first base the Brad Baldwin to cross the plate from third on the wild pitch. That gave the visitors the 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Schultz came up big for the Cards to lead-off the bottom of the eighth. He drilled a pitch well over the left field fence for his first home run of the season and second-career in an SVSU uniform. That knotted the score at 2-2 and shifted the momentum back in favor of SVSU. Fitzgibbon followed with another double down the left field line and he was moved to third on a Carson Eby sacrifice bunt. After Garrett Soule was intentionally walked to set up the double play, Harrison placed a squeeze bunt well down the third base line, scoring Fitzgibbon from third and sealing the 3-2 victory for the Cardinals. 

SV had six hits in the opener, two each coming from Fitzgibbon and Harrison. Fitzgibbon had two doubles, an RBI and run while Harrison added an RBI as well. Schutlz and Nate Blackwell had the other two hits, with Schultz delivering the big blow with the eighth inning long ball.

Scott Sency (3-2) got the victory on the mound and was solid throughout. He struck-out eight batters, scattered eight hits and allowed one earned run of the two. Sency went the complete 8.0 innings for the victory.

The Cardinals jumped right out ahead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning for a 2-0 advantage. Harrison hit a line-drive double over the center fielder and drove-in Fitzgibbon and Eby for the runs. 

A bases-loaded walk to Blackwell scored Soule for the 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third. The fourth inning saw Soule lace a double that scored Eby to make the count 4-0 in SVSU's favor. 

Wayne State cut into the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth inning to make the score 4-2. 

SV got those two right back, however, in the bottom of the frame to push the lead back out to four runs (6-2). Blackwell had an RBI single to score Greg Kazmierski and a Schultz squeeze scored Blackwell for the final run. 

Clayton Spiker (3-2) got the victory on the bump. He worked 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, three errors and posting a pair of strikeouts. Andrew Tidwell pitched the last 2.1 innings of scoreless ball to register his second save of the season. He scattered three hits and struck-out three.

Blackwell had two hits and a pair of RBIs with a run scored. Soule had two hits with a double, RBI and one run. Kazmierski added two hits while scoring a run for SVSU. Harrison had the two-RBI double and Eby had two runs and the other hit for the Cards.

Saginaw Valley remains at home for a four-game weekend series against Malone University. The Cardinals host the Pioneers Saturday (Apr. 16) at noon in a doubleheader before playing them in Sunday's twinbill, also slated to begin at noon.

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