MIDLAND - The SVSU baseball team posted a sweep over Northwood University on Sunday (Apr. 26) in a GLIAC doubleheader. The Cardinals used a strong performance on the mound by Michael Ellenbest and a good game at the plate from Kyle Kaufmann to take the opener by a 5-0 score. SVSU then went on to outlast the Timberwolves by a 7-4 count in the nightcap, a game that lasted 15 innings.
The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after a trio of runs in the top of the first inning. Chris Perkovich reached on an error and moved to third base after a failed pickoff attempt. Brad Schalk drove him in for the first run on a sacrifice fly to right field. A Chad Carson single would follow and he was brought home on a two-run home run from Kaufmann.
SVSU added a single run in the top of the fourth inning, using an RBI single from Perkovich that plated Luke Valutis. Valutis singled to begin the inning and was advanced to second on a Pete Baumgartner sacrifice bunt. That run pushed the lead out to 4-0 for the visitors.
A Richard Guglielmi sac fly in the top of the seventh inning brought home Carson for the fifth and final run of the game. Carson reached on an infield single and advanced to third on a Kaufmann single.
The 5-0 lead was more than enough for Ellenbest. The starter worked 6.0 innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits and striking-out seven batters. It marks the fourth straight victory for the redshirt freshman, as he improves his record to 5-3 overall on the year.
The Cards pounded-out 10 hits in game one, with Kaufmann going 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored on the home run. It was his first-career four-hit game. Carson had two hits and scored twice for SVSU. Perkovich and Schalk each had a hit and an RBI while Guglielmi had the last RBI for the Cardinals.
The T-Wolves grabbed the lead first in the second game, as the home squad plated a pair to take the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Guglielmi had an RBI double that scored Carson in the top of the fourth inning, cutting the lead to 2-1. Carson led the inning off with a single up the middle.
After Northwood added another run in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 3-1, SVSU pushed one more across in the top of the sixth as Kaufmann had a bunt single and was eventually scored on a Brendan Harrison sac fly. That made the score 3-2.
The bottom of the seventh saw Northwood score another run to make the lead 4-2.
That's where the score would stand until the top of the ninth inning, as the Cardinals were down to their last out and had two runners in scoring position. Harrison was hit by a pitch and Pete Baumgartner added an infield single. They were both moved up a base after a Dylin Eschenburg sac bunt. After a pop-out, Schalk dug-in with two outs and a chance to tie the game. He came through in a big way, lacing a single through the right side of the infield that brought home Baumgartner and pinch-runner Connor Foley to knot the score at 4-4 and send the game into extra-innings.
Both sides had multiple times in the extra frames where they had runners in scoring position. Nothing would materialize, however, until the Cardinals broke through for three runs in the top of the 15th inning.
A Valutis walk and Dylan Schultz bunt single would get the inning rolling for the Cardinals and those two were moved up a base on a Baumgartner sac bunt. Eschenburg cleared the bases with a two-RBI triple to center field to make the score 6-4. Perkovich stepped in next and ripped an RBI single to right field that brought Eschenburg home for the 7-4 advantage.
D.J. Reetz closed the door for the save in the bottom of the 15th, as he posted three strikeouts and allowed a walk for his fourth save of 2015. He saved the victory for Jeff Schalk, who pitched 4.0 innings of scoreless relief while allowing just two hits and striking-out two batters.
Saginaw Valley notched a season-best 20 hits in the nightcap, with three players registering three hits and four more adding two hits. The 20 hits is the most for the program since May 13, 2011 when the Cardinals had 20 in a 14-7 win over Ashland. Schalk had three hits with two RBIs and Perkovich had three as well, adding an RBI. Schultz was 3-for-3 with a run as well for SVSU. Baumgartner, Kaufmann, Guglielmi and Valutis all had two hits for the visitors as well, with Guglielmi adding an RBI. Eschenburg had two RBIs for SVSU in the second contest.
The Cardinals (17-18-1, 12-15-1 GLIAC) are back in action on Tuesday (Apr. 28), as the team hosts Cleary University in a non-conference matchup. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. for the single, nine-inning affair.