Baseball drops two at Hope - will return to face Hope in MIAA Tournament
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Story by Mitch Blankespoor, Photo Credit: Jeff Febus
HOLLAND, Mich. - After a two-game split with Hope at Fifth Third Ballpark Fri., May 3, the Calvin men’s baseball dropped two games by scores of 8-5 and 7-6 (9 innings) at Boeve Stadium on the campus of Hope College Sat., May 4. Fortunately for the Knights, they had already earned a berth in the MIAA Tournament for the first time in three years with the win at Fifth Third.
The start of the first game was not kind to the Maroon and Gold. The Flying Dutchmen struck for a run in the first inning, but the second inning would prove to be the nightmare. After a single from Josh Kranz (Carpentersville, IN/Jacobs) and a strikeout from Calvin junior pitcher Grant Vander Wall (Wyoming/South Christian), eight straight Flying Dutchmen reached base. Vander Wall was chased from the game after retiring just four batters and giving up four earned runs. When the bottom of the second inning finally finished, Hope had tallied up seven runs on four hits and two errors.
Calvin, despite being down eight runs, began to chip away at the Hope lead. The Knights began the comeback with two runs in the top of the third. Senior outfielder Tyler Tos (Wallnut Creek, CA/Berean Christian) drew a walk after an eight pitch at bat. Sophomore outfielder Grant Van Putten (Holland/Holland Christian) doubled to center field and advanced Tos to third. Freshman third baseman Travis Kraai (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) delivered a two-RBI single cut Hope’s lead to six.
After a one-two-three inning from junior pitcher Louis Hill (Romulus/Romulus), Calvin made the score 8-3 in the top of the fourth on an RBI-single from senior first baseman Jack Jorgenson (Milwaukee, WI/Milwaukee). The Knights would get two more runs in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI double down the left field line from Kraai, but could muster no more runs in the sixth or seventh innings. The Knights dropped the first game 8-5.
In game number two, Calvin junior pitcher Cory Laster (Ludington/Ludington) pitched five complete giving up three runs on six hits. The Knights did, however, give Laster a chance to get a victory. With Calvin trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth, the Calvin bats came alive. Calvin scored four runs on three hits including a two-RBI single from Van Putten. The Knights took a 5-3 leading going into the bottom of the sixth.
Hope would strike with a run in the bottom of the sixth, but Calvin responded with a run of its own in the visiting half of the seventh. The Knights were three outs away from splitting the series with their rival.
The command of the Calvin pitching staff became elusive however. Sophomore Ben Guilfoyle (Romeoville, IL/Plainfield East) walked Hope outfielder TJ Klein (Circle Pines, MN/Centennial) to start the inning. Calvin junior Jeff Victor (Holland/Holland Christian) came in. Victor would last only two batters, walking both, and them depart for sophomore Tom Bouwkamp (Pella, IA/Pella Christian). Boukamp got out of the inning giving up two runs.
Calvin was unable to muster any offensive threat in the eighth or ninth innings. Klein singled through the right side to lead off the bottom of the ninth for Hope. After a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, Kranz delivered the walkoff single to right field.
With its win, Hope clinches a share of the MIAA championship and the top seed in the MIAA Tournament. Calvin, now 16-23 on the season and 15-13 in the MIAA. The Knights clinch the fourth seed, and will return to Holland to face the Flying Dutchmen in the MIAA Tournament final. The game is scheduled for Wed., May 8. The time is to be determined.