LAKELAND, Fla. -- Grand Valley State lost a hard-fought battle to Florida Southern at Henley Field on Wednesday falling 7-6 to snap a four-game winning streak.
GVSU is now 4-2 on the season, while Florida Southern moves to 12-6 overall.
For the fourth consecutive game, the Lakers were able to push a run across in the first inning, this time with the help of an error. After junior Kevin Zak reached on a two-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch, senior Giancarlo Brugnoni crushed a ball up the middle, which bounced off the second baseman's chest for a single. Zak moved to third, but an attempted throw behind him at the bag got away from the third baseman, allowing Zak to score and give GVSU an early 1-0 lead.
Florida Southern got the run back in the bottom of the second, as Dominic Brugnoni, Giancarlo's younger brother, singled up the middle with two on and nobody out to make it a 1-1 game. The Mocs took the lead in the next at-bat with a groundout to third that moved both runners up and got another RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Lakers responded in the next half-inning, as Zak hit a two-RBI grounder through the left side of the infield to score juniors Mike Nadratowski and Jesse Abel and knot the game up at three. Nadratowski had reached on a walk and Abel reached on a dropped fly ball, which put them on second and third.GVSU's offense kept rolling in the top of the fourth, as the Lakers loaded the bases with two outs after a Nadratowski walk. Abel came to the plate and continued his hot play, lacing a double down the third base line that plated two and gave the Lakers a 5-3 lead. The lead moved to 6-3 when Brugnoni was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Florida Southern tied the game back up in the bottom half of the fourth, mostly thanks to a questionable call where a runner went out of the base line at third on a squeeze play, but was called safe. The Mocs used that call to their full advantage, driving in all three runs of their inning after that play, two of which came with two outs.
Florida Southern took a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth, as a lead-off hit batsman moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a groundout, then came in to score on an RBI single just over the shortstop's head with two outs.
Zak nearly tied the game back up in the top of the eighth, driving a ball over the left field fence, but it was on the wrong side of the foul pole by only a couple feet. The at-bat ended with a pop-up in foul territory a couple pitches later.
The Lakers couldn't threaten in the ninth, as Florida Southern closed the door and preserved the 7-6 victory.
Three Lakers had multi-hit games, as Zak finished 2-for-3 with a run, walk and two RBI, while Brugnoni finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ariel Aracena-Sanchez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Abel went 1-for-4 with a run, walk and two RBI. Nadratowski scored twice and stole his second base of the season.
Patrick Kelly (0-1) took the loss on the mound, but struck out six and walked only one in six innings of work. Kevin Hallberg contributed two innings of one-hit ball in relief.