Baseball loses hard-fought series to PNW

Senior out elder Craig Wilson rounds third at home against Hillsdale College earlier this year. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will

The SVSU baseball team dropped its set at Purdue Northwest three games to one this past weekend after losing a close 14-13 make-up contest against Northwood on Tuesday, April 16.

On Friday, April 19, the team was able to split its doubleheader with the Pride, losing 6-2 in the first game and winning 7-3 off of some strong hitting by senior third baseman Jordan Swiss in the second.

The doubleheader against the Pride on Saturday, April 20, featured a pair of shortened games that were in Purdue’s control.

The Pride started off strong in the first game, posting two runs in the second to put the pressure on the Cardinals.

SVSU couldn’t get their bats going, as Purdue’s pitching kept the team under 10 hits in the game.

The only Cardinal to cross the plate throughout the game was junior out elder Austin Koin, who was escorted in courtesy of an error from the Pride defense in the third.

The Cardinal defense put up a good effort for the remainder of the game, only allowing one more run, but couldn’t get anything else going at the plate, giving Purdue a 3-1 victory.

“I don’t think we had any weaknesses,” head coach Steve Jaksa said. “We had a few really hard-fought games where we gave our all, and that’s all you can do.”

Sophomore pitcher Camden Dice took the loss on the day, going six innings with three earned runs and four strikeouts.

The second game resulted similarly but saw more punch-back from the Cardinal offense.

The Pride put the first run on the board in the second with a single RBI, but SVSU responded quickly in the third.

The Cardinals put up two quick runs to put the score back into their favor. First was a fielder’s choice RBI from senior out elder Craig Wilson, who was later batted in via a sacrifice fly by senior in elder Adam Turner. As the game progressed, the Pride fought back, putting up a run each in the fourth and sixth innings, essentially silencing the Cardinals’ hopes of making a comeback. The Pride finished the game with a 3-2 victory, sending SVSU home with another lost series.

Swiss led the way again, going 2-4 and adding a stolen base.

Senior pitcher Kyle Henigan was the arm on the mound, taking the loss in six innings with four strikeouts and only one earned run.

Jaksa said that the team was significantly “disappointed” by the losses, but he stressed an emphasis on focusing on the positives moving forward.

“We had two guys go on the mound in Dice and Henigan, both pitching complete games, and that’s all you can really ask for from your pitching staff,” Jaksa said.”

The team will return to action when they take on Cleary University on Wednesday, April 24, in a special game at Comerica Park in Detroit.

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