Baseball team comes out swinging to start the season

During its trip to Florida to play in the Clearwater Invitational, SVSU recognized right away that the weather wasn’t the only thing heating up. The Cardinals’ bats were, too.

Led by an offense that averaged over eight runs a game, the team went 5-3 in its start to the season.

Senior Brad Schalk hit .273 with a home run and eight RBIs. Sophomore Chad Carson showcased his offensive abilities by hitting for a .419 average and a .500 on-base percentage. As a team, SVSU hit .302 with a .408 on-base percentage and a .413 slugging percentage.

“We have been sticking to our hitting approach,” senior shorstop Chris Perkovich said. “Everyone in the lineup has been hitting and giving the pitchers run support.”

Perkovich, who added some extra-base pop to the offense by totaling two triples during the invitational, noted that the bats were not alone in finding success. The SVSU pitching staff has gotten off to a solid start behind the arms of

junior Scott Sency and senior Mitchell Lumley among others. Lumley tossed a complete game, nine-inning shutout of Cedarville on Wednesday, March 4. It was the first of his Cardinals career.

“The pitchers are using the support and they aren’t letting the other teams score,” Perkovich said. “We’re working on all cylinders right now.”

The senior added that the opportunity to go to Florida to start the year is a privilege and that it is good to see what the team can do when all nine are on the diamond.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and we’re very fortunate,” he said. “It’s nice to go down there and see what type of team we really are.

“We can only see so much at practice every day, and it gives our coaches a chance to see what will and won’t work.”

With the start of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) season coming up, the team’s confidence is high. SVSU will travel to Tiffin, Ohio, to take on the Tiffin University Dragons for its first series of the year. The first pitch of the conference opener will be 1 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

“We need to just keep jumping out to quick leads like we have been and we need to just keep sticking to the approach at the plate,” Perkovich said. “This series is huge because it sets the tone for conference play.”

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