Grand Valley State pounds out 17 hits to eliminate Shippensburg in 8-4 win
CARY, N.C. -- Mike Nadratowski collected four of Grand Valley State’s 17 hits as the Lakers downed Shippensburg 8-4 in an elimination game of the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship Monday at Cary, N.C.
Five other players had two hits each for the Lakers, and all nine hitters in the order collected at least one hit in the game’s first five innings as Grand Valley State surged to a 7-0 lead before holding off a pair of late Shippensburg charges.
With the win, Grand Valley State (36-18) advances to an elimination game at on Wednesday. The loss ended the season for the Raiders at 32-23.
The Lakers jumped out to a 1-0 lead two batters into the game and never trailed. Nadratowski tripled into the left field corner to lead off the game, and Stephen Claypool followed with an RBI double down the left field line.
Grand Valley State added two more runs in the first inning to chase starter Tom Bush (6-5), one on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Jamie Potts, and a second on an RBI double by Chris Rudenga.
The Lakers added four more hits and three more runs in the third inning, one of those scoring on an RBI single by Nadratowski. The sophomore outfielder also added RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings.
Held to four hits and no runs through the first five innings by Grand Valley State starter Anthony Campanella (10-4), Shippensburg put together a big inning in the bottom of the sixth, collecting five hits and three runs, one on an RBI single by Pat Kregeloh and two more on a single by Cody Kulp that cut the deficit to 7-3. The Raiders threatened for more in the inning, but Campanella got a double-play ball to end the inning.
Campanella went eight innings, scattering 10 hits and giving up three runs while striking out three and walking none.
Trailing 8-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Shippensburg put together one last rally attempt. Facing the NCAA Division II career saves leader, Brad Zambron, the Raiders collected three consecutive singles to load the bases with no one out. Michael Douglas drove in one run on a sacrifice fly, but Zambron used consecutive flyouts to end the game.
Douglas was one of five Shippensburg players with two hits each.
The victory for Grand Valley State was its first at the championship since 2005, when it finished third nationally, and its first in six attempts since the championship moved to Cary in 2009.