OWENSBORO, Ky. - The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team returned to the diamond on Friday afternoon at Kentucky Wesleyan College to complete the spring break road trip. The Cardinals used solid pitching performances from Scott Sency and Mason Schwellenbach to secure a pair of victories over the Panthers, taking both games in the doubleheader.
The first game of the afternoon remained in a scoreless tie heading into the second inning, where SVSU would score the first runs of the contest.
The Cardinals put runners on the corners with no outs when Collin Winters stepped to the plate and drove in Craig Wilson with his RBI single. His first hit of the afternoon gave SVSU the 1-0 lead. SVSU would then add another run with the bases loaded as Jason Clark's RBI groundout brought in Garrett Soule from third base, putting Saginaw Valley ahead by two runs.
SVSU loaded the bases again in the fourth inning looking to add on to its two-run advantage and did so with a base hit up the middle off the bat of Clark. His second hit of the afternoon brought in Garrett Soule and gave the Cardinals a three-run lead.
The lead then grew to 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning, with the Cardinals bringing home Wilson on a throwing error from a double steal attempt. Soule would advance to second and would be left there to close out the frame.
Kentucky Wesleyan made up for the miscue in the top half of the fifth by scoring two runs in the bottom off a pair of singles. The Panthers inched their way closer to tying the contest, as SVSU was ahead 4-2 with just two full innings left to play.
KWC held the Cardinals scoreless in the sixth and would then follow that up by tacking a run in the sixth inning to cut the deficit at 4-3.
SVSU brought in Jake Tarbell to replace Scott Sency, who started on the mound for the Cardinals. Tarbell was tasked with holding a one-run lead for SVSU and would retire the Panthers in order, closing the door on a comeback with a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the doubleheader with KWC.
Inside the Boxscore
- The Cardinals strung together 10 base hits to score four runs in the victory over KWC. A total of seven different batters recorded a hit for SVSU.
- Jason Clark had a multi-hit game at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.
- Craig Wilson and Garrett Soule also had a pair of base hits for the Cardinals. The tandem also scored all four runs for SVSU in the victory.
- Scott Sency (W, 1-2) was credited with the win after starting for SVSU. He went six innings and gave up three runs on five base hits. He would strike out seven batters in a total of 103 pitches.
- Jake Tarbell recorded his second save of the season with a scoreless inning of baseball in relief for SVSU.
SVSU would end the first inning of Game 2 trailing 1-0 after allowing a Kentucky Wesleyan run to score off a fielding error. The Cardinals would quickly erase the miscue in the following inning as a throwing error from KWC brought home Craig Wilson.
SVSU had tied the game at 1-1 after two innings of play and looking for more runs.
The Cardinals took the lead in the fourth inning after holding KWC scoreless in the previous frame. Collin Winters gave SVSU the 2-1 advantage with his RBI single to right that forced a miscue from the Panthers. The error brought home Craig Wilson and advanced Winters to third base.
The Panthers were quick to respond to the unearned run, as KWC would tie the game up at 2-2 with an RBI single.
With three full innings left to play, the Cardinals regained the lead once again with timely hitting. SVSU tacked on a run in the fifth as Adam Fitzgibbon advanced to third on an RBI triple, scoring Jordan Swiss.
The Cardinals padded the lead in the top of the seventh inning by scoring three runs and putting the game out of reach. Fitzgibbon made the score 4-2 with an RBI fielder's choice that scored Conner Sonnier. SVSU struck again with the bases loaded and brought home Swiss off an RBI single up the middle from Chad Carson. One more run would score after SVSU attempted a double steal, with Fitzgibbon scoring on the steal to home.
SVSU would then hand the baseball over to Brendan Harrison to close out the contest. He would only allow a base hit and no runs, giving the Cardinals the series sweep with the 6-2 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan.
Inside the Boxscore
- Adam Fitzgibbon was one of two Cardinals to have a multi-hit game in the night cap of the doubleheader. He finished 2-for-4 at the plate, recording a double, triple and scored a run after stealing home in the seventh inning.
- Craig Wilson scored two runs and also had a pair of base hits.
- Jordan Swiss had a nice game offensively for the Cardinals, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single and also scored twice.
- Collin Winters also had a base hit and an RBI in the contest.
- Schwellenbach (W, 1-1) pitched very well as the Game 2 starter for SVSU. He would go five innings and only allow two runs (none earned) on five base hits. He struck out five batters on 94 pitches. It marks his first career win for the Cardinals.
SVSU returns to the field on Friday, March 17 to complete its non-conference schedule at Lincoln Memorial University. The Cardinals square off in a three-game series with the Railsplitters beginning with a 4:00 p.m. first pitch on Friday and a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.
* - An originally scheduled DH against Kentucky Wesleyan for Saturday has been cancelled due to inclement weather forecasted in the area.
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