Baseball Drops Both Ends of Doubleheader With Albion Friday at Calvin Field
Friday, April 09, 2010
By Sports Information Student Assistant Derek Neice
Coming into Friday with a 2-6 league record (5-11 overall), and competing desperately to stay in the league race, the Knights were unable to pull off a win in either game of Friday afternoon’s home doubleheader against league opponent Albion College.
Calvin fell to superior pitching in game one, losing by a score of 5-1 and failing to get a runner on base until the sixth inning. Game two saw a much closer game as the offense exploded in the first inning, but Albion managed to put a few more ticks on the run card by the end and won the game 12-8. The losses pushed Calvin’s record to 2-8 in the conference and 5-13 overall.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Calvin was victim to a pitching gem by Briton pitcher Brett Timmer, a junior out of Jenison. Timmer came into the game with a 3.38 earned run average and a 1-1 record. His opponent was Calvin junior Peter Steiner, who came into the game with a 2-1 record and a 4.50 earned run average.
Albion’s Timmer did not need much for run support in that first game but he got plenty of it early as Albion scored in each of the first four innings, knocking in two in the first and one in each of the next three after that.
Timmer took a perfect game into the sixth inning, and the question on everyone’s mind was whether he could sustain the streak or not. But the leadoff hitter that inning for the Knights, sophomore Scott Tipton, ripped a stand-up double to deep left field and ended the perfect game opportunity.
The last and sole perfect game to be pitched in the MIAA was in 1990 by Albion pitcher Mark Smith.
Tipton would be moved to third on a single by sophomore Jake Van Alten and would eventually score on an RBI groundout by freshman Tyler Tos, Calvin’s only run of the game.
Timmer picked up the win, his second of the year, on a complete game, striking out three and giving up only 1 run on four hits. Steiner took the loss, evening his record up at 2-2. He also picked up the complete game, giving up runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.
The second game started out with quite a bang. Calvin started sophomore Brett Cavanaugh against Albion junior Jacob Rinkinen. Neither pitcher started well with Cavanaugh’s start being cut short after two innings, giving up 8 runs in those two.
In the top of the first, the Knights recorded two quick outs before giving up a hit to the outfield that turned into a double after a close play at second. On that play, Calvin second baseman Kyle Gurzynski looked to have made a clean tag on the sliding Briton, but the umpire ruled him safe. A subsequent base hit scored the runner to give Albion a 1-0 lead, and the Britons proceeded to score four more after that on a grand slam home run by second baseman Zac Neal, his second of the year.
The Knights were not fazed by the early deficit though as they answered in the bottom half, scoring six runs to take the lead. A flurry of hits to the outfield coupled with three errors in the inning by the Britons saw the Knights manage to produce six runs of their own and take their only lead of the day.
Albion scored three more quick runs off of Cavanaugh in the second inning to lead 8-6, and they never relinquished that lead after that. The Briton hitting tacked on a few more insurance runs over the remainder of the game as they added two more in the third inning and another two in the seventh.
The bottom of the seventh saw an exciting finish to the game. Calvin put some early runners on in the seventh inning, eventually loading the bases with one out. Albion pitcher Eric Ondrus walked in a run, and then Calvin’s Matt Dodrill knocked a single to right to add another. The bases still loaded and the score at 12-8, Calvin’s Tipton then fouled out along the first baseline and the subsequent hitter, Grant Jobkar, grounded out to second to end the game, and so the comeback was just not to be.
The 12-8 loss was Cavanaugh’s first loss of the year, evening his record at 1-1. Cavanaugh pitched two innings and gave up 8 runs on 7 hits and a walk, and he struck out two. Albion’s Rinkinen picked up the win, his first of the year. Rinkinen went six innings and gave up 6 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits, picking up a sole strikeout as well. Albion’s Eric Ondrus pitched the seventh and picked up the save, giving up 2 runs on a hit and a pair of walks.
For relievers, Calvin’s Derick Vargas pitched one inning and struck out two, but giving up two runs on three hits. Eric Poencet finished the game for the Knights, pitching the last four innings, giving up two more runs on three hits and a walk, striking out three as well.
Tyler Berger and Matt Dodrill led the Knights lineup with two hits apiece, Berger picking up an RBI and two runs and Dodrill adding a couple RBI’s as well. Drew Vos added a hit and three RBI’s.
Again the two losses push Calvin’s conference record to 2-8 and they remain at the bottom of the pool, just a game ahead of Olivet. Albion improves to 6-4 in league play with the sweep.
The next action for Calvin will be Saturday at Albion for another doubleheader. First pitch for those games will be at 1 p.m.