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Baseball splits twinbill with Albion

Friday, April 26, 2013

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Story by Mark DeHaan


GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Looking to solidify its hold on a top four spot in the conference, the Calvin College baseball team hosted the Britons of Albion College Fri. afternoon for the first half of a home-and-home MIAA series, with the second pair of games to be played at Albion on Saturday. Calvin entered the day with an 11-8 record in MIAA play - good for fourth place, while Albion was sixth at 9-11. Hoping to still jump into the tournament picture, Albion stole game one 4-0. Calvin then won a thriller in game two, twice coming from behind and then winning on a walk-off single from Jalen Bouma in extra innings to win 6-5.

In game one, Albion jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with both runs coming on a single into right field.

In the second inning, the Britons added two more runs to extend their lead to 4-0. Calvin junior starter Jeff Victor was knocked out of the game when he attempted to field a ground ball which hit him in his pitching hand.

While the Knights struggled to find any consistency with their bats, in the bottom of the fifth, Calvin loaded the bases with one out. Unfortunately, Albion pitcher Mike Schypinski was able to work his way out of the jam by forcing a Knights’ grounder to second which resulted in a double play.

Schypinski then pitched his way through the lineup in the sixth and seventh, giving up just one more hit as the Britons took game one 4-0.

Sophomore Grant Van Putten and Bouma were both 2-for-3 in the first contest. Albion was led by Kyle Kowal who was 1-2 with two runs batted in while Brendan Diamond was 2-4 with a run scored and one run batted in.

Victor took the loss on the hill to move to 2-4. Senior Jack Jorgenson pitched four and two-thirds innings of one hit ball in relief.

Schypinski pitched the complete game, giving up six hits while striking out nine to earn the win and move to 6-1 on the season.

In game two, the Britons again took an early lead, scoring a run in the top of the second. Albion extended its lead in the fourth, scoring three runs, including two on a two-run single to bring the score to 4-0.
The Knights responded with four runs of their own to tie the game. Bouma and sophomore Ben Wohl each had two-run doubles as the game headed to the fifth tied 4-4.
In the top of the fifth, Albion scored a run to take the one run lead. Bouma responded with a two-out RBI single in the bottom part of the inning as the game was again tied, this time at 5-5.

In the bottom of the seventh, freshman Jordan VanderWall led off with a double and was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Knights could not advance VanderWall any further and the game would head into extra innings.

After an inning and a half of scoreless play, Calvin loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth after two Knights were hit-by-pitch. Stepping up to the plate with one out was Bouma. Just as he had in the fifth inning, Bouma had a clutch hit which he put into center field to bring a run home and earn the Knights the win in walk-off fashion.

Bouma was 3-5 with four runs batted in and one run in game two. Wohl was 1-4 with two runs batted in. For Albion, Adam Mazza was 2-4 with two RBI’s. Michael Fishbach was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.
Freshman Kyle Wasserberger earned the win on the mound, pitching four innings in relief, giving up just four hits and striking out one.

“We had a couple chances, but it was a case of too little, too late in the first game, and you have to tip your hat to (Mike Schypinski), he did a good job,” said head coach John Sparks. “It seemed like the lull in the bats extended into the second game, but we had some clutch pitching from Kyle Wasserberger and then Jalen (Bouma) had a couple of clutch hits in the game, especially the last one to win the game.”

With the doubleheader split, Calvin moves to 13-18 overall and 12-9 in conference while Albion is now 11-19 and 10-12 in the MIAA.

Calvin returns to action tomorrow when it travels to Albion for another twinbill, with first-pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

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