HILLSDALE, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team split with Hillsdale College today (May 1) in a pivotal conference doubleheader in the final week of the regular season. SVSU earned the win in game one, 7-5, before dropping the second game, 6-3.
Game One - SVSU 7, Hillsdale 5 - Box Score
After the Chargers struck in the second inning for a 1-0 edge, the Cardinals responded with a pair of runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Senior Chet LaFave (Charlotte, Mich.) laced a two-out, 2-RBI single up the middle to bring home Michael Craig (Milan, Mich.) and Dylin Eschenburg (Shelby Township, Mich. / Utica Eisenhower).
In the fourth, Kyle O'Boyle (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) came around to score on a throwing error by Hillsdale to increase the SVSU lead. Michael Craig followed with a 2-RBI single to right field before Brad Schalk (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Bishop Foley) scored Craig on a sacrifice fly to give Saginaw Valley a 6-1 lead.
Hillsdale responded in the bottom half of the fourth with a four-spot of their own to get within one of the Cardinals, 6-5.
Chet LaFave continued to swing a hot bat as he led off the fifth inning with a towering solo home run, his fourth of the year, to give SVSU the 7-5 advantage.
The rest of the contest featured an outstanding performance on the mound in relief for Aaron Woods (Menominee, Mich.), who picked up his second save of the year throwing 3 2/3 innings allowing just four hits with two strikeouts. Woods silenced the Charger offense as he did not allow a run after a 63-pitch outing gave SVSU the 7-5 victory.
The Saginaw Valley offense was paced by Chet LaFave and Michael Craig who each recorded two hits.
Game Two - Hillsdale 6, SVSU 3 - Box Score
Hillsdale once again jumped out to an early lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Dylin Eschenburg drove home the first SVSU run of the second game with a sacrifice fly to center field that was deep enough to score Kyle O'Boyle, who singled to start the inning. The Cardinals went on to leave the bases loaded in the fourth after a foul pop up ended the rally.
Ryan Hotmer (Walbridge, Ohio / Lake) and Chet LaFave picked up RBIs for SVSU in the seventh inning of game two as the Cardinals rallied late.
However, Saginaw Valley was unable to complete the comeback falling by a 6-3 final to split with the Chargers.
Sophomore starting pitcher Jeff Schalk (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Bishop Foley) threw all six innings in his second start of the season. Jeff struck out six Chargers without giving up a walk.
The Cardinals will return to action this weekend to finish up the regular season with a home series of contests against Tiffin University. The series will start Saturday (May 4) at 1:00 p.m.