Grand Valley St. tops MSU-Mankato
Anderson’s 12th-inning walk-off single garners win for Lakers
AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- No. 6 Grand Valley State won a thrilling 12-inning battle against No. 26 Minnesota State-Mankato. The Lakers scored runs in the bottom of the eighth to come from behind and another in the bottom of the 11th to extend the game before Steve Anderson hit a walk-off single in the 12th.
The Mavericks controlled the early part of the game, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after 3.5 innings of play while holding the Lakers to one hit over that span.
GVSU got on the comeback trail in the bottom of the fourth. Anderson, brought home Stephen Claypool with a triple and then Giancarlo Brugnoni sent Anderson home with an RBI-ground out to cut the lead in half at 4-2.
The Lakers let up another run in the top of the fifth to Minnesota State to make it 5-2.
Anderson again sparked a run in the bottom of the sixth, doubling just inside third base with one out and scoring on a Brugnoni single back up the middle to cut the lead to 5-3.
Minnesota State pushed another run across in the top of the seventh to make it a 6-3 game. After the RBI double, the next hitter rolled a ball to short with runners on second and third.
Kevin Zak came home with the throw, where Derrik Strzalkowski caught the runner on third in a rundown. He ran the player back to third, where the runner from second was already standing, who started going back to first. Meanwhile, the hitter had rounded first and Strzalkowski threw to Brugnoni who missed a swipe tag.
The runner from third then attempted to come home, but Brugnoni gunned him down at the plate, which was being covered by Zak, who made the initial throw. Zak then fired a throw down to second where Claypool tagged out the hitter who had tried to move up to second during all the commotion at home. The Lakers got out of the inning with the double play.
In the bottom of the seventh, Mike Nadratowski notched a one-out single and then moved to second after Chris Rudenga was hit by a pitch. Claypool then singled to right-center, scoring Nadratowski to pull the Lakers within two at 6-4. The Lakers had a chance to come all the way back, but a pop-up and fly out with runners on second and third ended the threat.
Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, the Lakers broke through. Strzalkowski walked and then senior Zach Laupp worked a walk after an eight-pitch battle with one out to put two runners on base. Jared Cowan, pinch-hitting, then brought in Brett Gwaltney on an RBI single to right field. With runners on the corners, Nadratowski came to the plate and executed a perfect squeeze play, laying the bunt down and allowing Laupp to score from third to tie the game at six.
Brad Zambron came in to work the ninth with the Lakers having lost the designated hitter spot by bringing a pinch-runner in for the starting catcher. After surrendering a one-out double, Zambron got a fly-out and then a nice play Lance Buitendyk at third to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Brugnoni got hit by a pitch with two outs, bringing Zambron to the plate. Zambron fought valiantly, working the count to 2-2 and then fouling off two consecutive pitches before striking out.
After a perfect inning of work in the top of the 10th by Zambron, the Lakers had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the frame. Zak led off with a single deep in the hole at short. Laupp then lifted a ball that fell in between the short stop and centerfielder in the shallow outfield but Zak, who had been caught between bases to see if the ball was caught, got thrown out at second. Laupp then stole second on a delayed steal attempt and after Nadratowski was intentionally walked, a ground out to short ended the frame.
The Mavericks appeared to take back the upper-hand in the top of the 11th, moving ahead 7-6 with a two-out RBI single.
Claypool led off the bottom of the 11th with a single to center field and the Lakers appeared to be in trouble as a routine double play cleared the bases, putting the Lakers down to their last out. Brugnoni worked a walk after a nine-pitch at-bat and Matt Schuch, pinch-hitting for Zambron, recorded his first career hit with a single to left field.
Zak then singled through the left side and Brugnoni beat the throw home, tying the game up at seven. Laupp walked after that to load the bases, giving the Lakers a shot at victory, but a grounder back to the pitcher ended the threat.
Jacob Cox issued a lead-off walk in the 12th and the Mavericks sacrificed the runner to second with a bunt. Cox then got a pop-up in to shallow right field and a pop-up right above the plate to get out of the inning.
|GRAND VALLEY STATE VS. MSU-MANKATO|
Nadratowski led off the bottom of the 12th with a single to third on a very high chopper that he beat out at the bag. After Rudenga sacrificed him to second base, Minnesota State set up the double play by intentionally walking Claypool to get to Anderson. Anderson made them pay for the thought, driving a single back up the middle that brought Nadratowski in for the game-winning run.
After starting pitcher Chris Whitney got in trouble, the GVSU bullpen, already taxed with this being the fourth game in as many days, kept the Lakers in the game. The relievers tossed eight innings, surrendering seven hits and two earned runs while striking out six.
Cox (1-0) got the win in relief, surrendering only a walk in his inning of work. Zambron pitched three innings, allowing three hits and zero earned runs with one strike out. Cory Rademacher worked four innings in relief, striking out five.
Nadratowski and Zak each had three hits and an RBI on the day, while Nadratowski also scored twice. Anderson was the third Laker with three hits, going 3-for-7 with two runs and two RBI, including the game-winner. For the second time in as many days, he fell a home run short of the cycle. Strzalkowski and Claypool each had two hits while Brugnoni had two RBI.
Schuch and Cowan each had pinch-hit singles in their only at-bats to extend the game, Cowan's brought in a run. Laupp reached base all three times he came to the plate off of the bench, drawing two walks and reaching on a fielder's choice, also scoring the game-tying run in the 11th.
Minnesota State was led on offense by Nolan Johnson and Jeremy Sudbeck, who each went 3-for-5. Jordan Krause (0-1) took the loss for the Mavs, allowing two hits, one walk and one run in 0.1 innings pitched. Starter Bryce Bellin worked six innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs.
The Lakers moved to 5-2 on the season with the victory while the Mavericks fell to 8-3 overall.