Baseball competes against top GLIAC teams

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The SVSU baseball team continued GLIAC play last week, falling to Northwood two out of three times on Wednesday. Saturday, the Cardinals split with Wayne State, and on Sunday, the Warriors swept the host team.

Additionally, SVSU freshman Cole Brooks was named National Hitter of the Week last week. The outfielder hit .567, going 17-30 with five home runs, four doubles, one triple and 20 RBIs in the week prior to the honor. He currently leads SVSU in batting average and home runs.

The first game against Northwood was a continuation of a game that was rained out earlier in the season. The game resumed in the third inning with SVSU already leading 7-0. Following a Timberwolves run, SVSU added three more in the bottom of the fourth on an Adam Turner home run to extend its lead to 10-1. Turner homered again two innings later to cap the scoring.

“It always feels good to get a win against a rival like Northwood, especially when they are having a good year,” head coach Chris Ebright said. “I think it shows how close we are with these young players to be really good. We compete every single day.”

Shortstop Jordan Swiss was 2-4 with a double and two RBIs, while second baseman Mason Schwellenbach added two hits. Brandon Wise picked up his second win of the year as he continued his start from the previously rained out game to throw a complete game with seven strikeouts.

“(Wise) will be a weekend starter in the next year or two,” Ebright said. “He is getting stronger and smarter as a pitcher. He loves the game of baseball and puts everything he has into it. He went right after the Northwood pitchers. He competed at a high level on Wednesday. I’m very proud of him.”

Things went south from there as the Cardinals dropped the next two contests against Northwood.

SVSU only managed seven hits and two runs as Northwood was steady offensively against Cardinal pitcher Scott Sency. Designated hitter Collin Winters had three hits to lead the Cardinal offense.

In the final game of the day, NU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first and continued to score throughout the game in route to a 7-1 win. The SVSU offense managed only three hits and one run when centerfielder Adam Fitzgibbon stole home on a successful double steal. Fitzgibbon, Winters and Brooks had hits for SVSU. Alex Millhisler took the loss on the mound for SVSU.

“Northwood took advantage of our physical and mental mistakes; any good team will do that,” Ebright said. “We are learning from every game we play, win or lose.”

The team returned to the diamond Saturday afternoon for a doubleheader against Wayne State, topping the Warriors 3-2 in game one before falling in game two 8-7.

In game one, SVSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead early and hung on late to secure the win.
Schwellenbach was 2-3 at the plate. Fitzgibbon and Turner each added a hit and an RBI each.

Amani Godfrey picked up his second win of the year on the hill, throwing 5.2 innings allowing seven hits and two runs. Tyler Stambaugh threw an inning in relief before Jake Tarbell got the final out, picking up his fifth save of the year.

Game two went back and forth early until two Warriors runs in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference. The Cardinal offense exploded for 14 hits, including two from Fitzgibbon, two from Chad Carson, three from Brendan Harrison and two from Schwellenbach.

Starting pitcher Camden Dice threw 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and five runs and striking out two. Tristan Faunce came in relief and took the loss for SVSU, throwing 2.1 innings. Sency covered the final two innings on the mound.

SVSU also fell in game one on Sunday, 6-1. Millhisler took the loss on the mound despite only allowing two earned runs over six innings pitched. The SVSU offense managed only three hits in the contest.

In game two on Sunday, the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning off Schwellenbach, SVSU’s starter on the mound.

SVSU responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the third. Brooks singled to right to score Fitzgibbon, and Turner singled to left to plate Brooks and Carson.

Each team added a run in the fifth inning, with SVSU getting a home run from Carson.

It was all Warriors from there. Wayne State scored one in the sixth and five in the seventh. SVSU tried to rally late, scoring six runs in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately fell 13-10.

SVSU (15-25, 9-15) continues its season next weekend, hosting Walsh University. The teams will play two Friday and two Saturday.

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