Cardinal Bats Stay Hot in Sweep of #24 Ashland

UNIVERSITY CENTER – The SVSU baseball team kept the bats going on Sunday (Apr. 12) in its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader with the 24th-ranked Ashland University Eagles.  The Cardinals racked-up 23 hits in a sweep of the visitors, claiming a 4-0 victory in the opener before going off for a season-best 16 hits in a 13-7 nightcap win.  It was the first sweep over the eagles on the same day since March 30, 2002.

The first game featured a dominating performance on the hill from redshirt freshman Michael Ellenbest.  The righty tossed his first-career complete game and shutout, working all seven innings while striking-out 10 batters and allowing just three hits.  Ellenbest evened his record at 3-3 overall for the season with the win.

SVSU did its scoring in the bottom of the second and third innings, scoring a pair of runs in each frame. 

The second inning saw the Cards work station-to-station, with Richard Guglielmi singling and moving to second on a David Arnold sacrifice bunt.  Kyle Kaufmann followed, roping his second home run in as many days to give the home team the 2-0 lead. 

The third frame was much like the second to begin, as Chris Perkovich singled and advanced on a Brad Schalk sacrifice bunt.  A Chad Carson double scored Perkovich for the third run.  Carson later moved to third on a passed ball and crossed the plate on a Brendan Harrison sacrifice fly.

Ashland had two hits the rest of the way, but Ellenbest was too much and closed the door on the opponents.

Guglielmi was 3-for-3 in the opener to lead the offense while Kaufmann had the two-run home run.

The Cardinals jumped out in front again in the second game of the day, using a Harrison RBI single that pushed Perkovich across the plate for the 1-0 edge.  Perkovich reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the shortstop.

The Eagles grabbed their first lead of the day after scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning, making the score 2-1.

SVSU got a huge offensive outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning, using seven hits to help score seven runs to take the lead back and make the score 8-2.  Harrison had a two-RBI double while Dylan Schultz and Luke Valutis added RBI doubles as well.  Kaufmann had an RBI triple and Guglielmi added an RBI single in the inning.

Ashland scored three runs in the top of the sixth to draw closer with the score 8-5 but a pair of runs from the Cardinals in the bottom of the seventh pushed the lead out to five runs at 10-5.  Schultz had an RBI single that scored Dylin Eschenburg for the first run.  After moving up to second on a throw to the plate and to third on an Austin Plasterer ground ball, Schultz scored on a wild pitch for the 10th run.

The Eagles added two more runs in the top of the eighth inning, cutting the deficit to 10-7.

The Cardinals responded in a big way once again, coming through for three runs in the bottom of the inning to push their advantage out to 13-7.  Kaufmann, Schultz and Plasterer all had RBIs in the frame.

Reliever D.J. Reetz came in and closed out the six-run victory for the Cards, working a scoreless ninth.  Starter Jacob Hendricks got the victory, working five innings and allowing just two runs on five hits.  His record now stands at 2-0 for the 2015 season.  Jeff Schalk was also good in a relief role, working a scoreless eighth inning.

Harrison had three hits with three RBIs and two runs in the second game while Guglielmi added three more hits with an RBI and two runs.  Perkovich was 3-for-4 with a run while Schultz had two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored.

Saginaw Valley improves its record to 12-14 overall on the season with a 7-11 mark in the GLIAC.  Ashland falls to 23-9 overall and 12-4 in league play.

The Cardinals are back in action on Wednesday (Apr. 15), as they host the Wayne State Warriors in a mid-week doubleheader at the SVSU Baseball Complex.  First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. in the GLIAC North Division matchup.