Grand Valley State forces extra game against Tampa with 4-0 victory
CARY, N.C. -- Grand Valley State got one of the best pitching performances of the year from senior Kyle Teague and forced a second game with top-seeded Tampa after a 4-0 victory on Thursday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The game was the first in the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals.
The Lakers rose to 38-18 on the year, while Tampa fell to 45-12. The two teams will face off in an elimination game on Friday.
Much like Wednesday's game, the Lakers got the scoring started in the second, getting a lead-off double from junior Giancarlo Brugnoni. After he moved to third on a groundout, sophomore Jesse Abel got the big hit, dropping a single in front of the left fielder to stake GVSU to a 1-0 lead.
The Lakers kept the momentum going in the top of the third, getting three runs with the aid of two Tampa errors. With two outs and runners on first and second, Brugnoni lifted a fly ball to right field. The right fielder attempted to shield himself from the sun, but misjudged the ball and it dropped to the grass, allowing both runners to come in and score. Sophomore Jamie Potts followed, extending the inning even longer by driving a ball back up the middle to score Brugnoni and give the Lakers a 4-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Teague kept cruising, keeping Spartan hitters off balance all game long. Only three Tampa hitters reached second base in the game and they were shut out for only the second time this season, and the first time since facing Barry on March 29th (5-0 L). In the previous three games Tampa had played, the Spartans had put up 20, 12 and 10 runs.
Teague's victory moved him to 8-3 on the season, as he allowed only five hits and struck out eight. In the tournament, Teague has thrown two complete games and allowed only one earned run and 10 hits with 15 strikeouts.
"I felt good [Thursday], I felt good against Minnesota State too, but was just a little more sharp [Thursday]. My change-up was working and I was pitching to contact, but was able to get the strikeouts when I needed them," Teague said.
"After we saw how Kyle [Teague] was pitching early on, even without the dropped fly ball in the outfield, we knew we might have already had enough runs to get the victory," Brugnoni said.
Three Lakers had multiple hits, with senior Stephen Claypool going 2-for-4 with a run and Potts and Abel both going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Brugnoni went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and his 15th double of the year.
"This was a very big game, we had our backs against the wall. We always say that great players save their best performance for when it is needed most and that's what we got from Kyle Teague. The story [Thursday] was that Teague dominated Tampa," head coach Jamie Detillion said.