UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. -- The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team will open their season next week when the Cardinals travel to the University of Illinois-Springfield for a four-game series Feb. 25-27. The Cardinals will also make their annual trip to Florida for the RussMatt Invitational on March 4-12.
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released its 2022 Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll earlier this week, picking the Cardinals to finish fifth.
The first home game of the year will be against Grace Christian University at 3:05 pm on Mar. 17 from the SVSU Baseball Complex.
SVSU opens Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Mar. 25 when they face the Purdue University Northwest Pride. The Cardinals welcome the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Apr. 1-3 for their first home GLIAC series of the season.
The final home series of the year will be against Grand Valley State University on April 22-24. SVSU will play a non-conference game against rival Northwood University at 6:35 pm on April 26 from Dow Diamond in Midland, Mich.
The Cardinals will play their final two series of the season on the road, as they travel to Quincy University on April 29-May 1. SVSU will then face Northwood in GLIAC play for the final time May 6-8.
The GLIAC Tournament is scheduled for May 11-14 from the US Steel Yard in Gary, Ind.
Last season, the Cardinals posted a 17-17 overall record and a 12-12 mark in the GLIAC.
SVSU saw five players earn All-GLIAC honors. Hayden Jatczak was named the league's Freshman Player of the Year and Second Team All-GLIAC. At the plate, he batted .379 in 116 at-bats, finishing with 44 hits, 10 doubles, and two home runs. He added 18 walks, 26 runs scored, slugged .517, and had a .457 on-base percentage. Jatczak was also the Friday starter for the Cardinals on the mound. He appeared in eight games, posting a record of 4-3. Jatczak pitched 45.1 innings and struck out 42 batters.
Joining Jatczak on the Second Team were Brandon Scheurer and Hunter Merillat. Scheurer played in all 31 games last season, hitting .330 with four doubles, 18 RBIs, 25 runs scored, 22 walks, and a .455 on-base percentage. Merillat led the SVSU bullpen, appearing in nine games. He finished the regular season with a 4-1 record, three saves, 22.2 innings pitched, 29 strikeouts, and a 1.19 ERA.
Earning Honorable Mention All-GLIAC in 2021 for SVSU was Martin Money and Kendall Anthes. Money batted .345 with 38 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 36 RBIs, and slugged .609. Anthes closed the season strong, establishing himself as a top pitcher for the Cardinals. He appeared in seven games with a 1-1 record including a complete-game shutout. Anthes tossed 37 innings, with a 2.68 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
All five players who earned All-GLIAC last season return this year for the Cardinals. SVSU also welcomes 11 newcomers to the team this season.
The season begins at 2 pm Friday, Feb. 25 when the Cardinals travel to face the University of Illinois-Springfield to open a four-game series.
Season Preview with Head Coach Steve Jaksa below: