Baseball Closes Out Season With Sweep of Albion
Friday, May 08, 2009
ALBION—Calvin closed out its 2009 season in fine fashion, completing a four-game sweep of the Albion Britons with a pair of shutout victories Friday afternoon at Albion’s Frank Joranko Field. Calvin won the opener 6-0 behind a six-hit shutout performance from junior Ben Sietsema (Northpointe Christian HS). The Knights then defeated Albion 2-0 in game two behind a three-hit shutout performance from sophomore Jeff Groenewold (Chicago, IL/Timothy Christian HS).
The victories came on the heels of 12-3 and 15-1 victories over Albion on Thursday. With the four-game sweep, Calvin clinches sole possession of second place in the final MIAA standings. The Knights closed out the year by winning eight of their final nine games. During that nine-game stretch, Calvin batted .385 as a team.
The shutout by Sietsema (8-2) in game one marked his third shutout of the year—all coming in league play. His performance lowered his final season earned run average ot 3.25. In addition, he also moved into a tie for second plae on the Calvin career list for victories in a season, matching current teammates Nate Pocock and Peter Steiner who both won eight games a year ago.
Sietsema received plenty of offensive support as the Knights two runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and two more in the seventh. Freshman Jake Van Alten (Holland Christian HS) brought in the first two runs of the game on a two-run single up the middle. In the fifth, junior Matt Schepel (Grand Rapids Christian HS) tripled in a run and was later brought home by a run-scoring single by senior Chris Blacklidge (Comstock Park HS). Senior Nate Pocock (Wayland, MA) then put the capper on the win with a two-run homer to left in the top of the seventh. Schepel and Blacklidge both collected two hits for the Knights in the win. Sietsema meanwhile struck out three and walked just one in earning his third complete game of the season.
In game two, Groenewold picked up his second collegiate victory including his first complete-game shutout win as he limited the Britons to just three hits. The only runs of the game came in the top of the second as Schepel led off with a walk and Pocock followed with another two-run homer - his fourth roundtripper of the year. Groenewold retired eight of the final hitters he faced and was aided by a pair of ground ball double-plays - one in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Schepel was credited with four walks in the doubleheader, bringing his final season total to 30, matching the Calvin single-season record originally set by Kevin Van Duyn in 1985. Pocock also finished the season with 38 runs batted in, matching the Calvin single-season record set by Schepel a year ago.
Senior Kyle Cousins (Holland Christian HS) also set a Calvin single-season record on Friday, finishing the year with 144 at bats, breaking the previous Calvin single-season record of 143 previously shared by Terry O’Neal (2002) and Jacob Vriesman (2008). Schepel finished the year with 43 runs scored, breaking his own previous record of 37 set in 2008. Finally, freshman Tyler Berger (Grand Rapids Christian HS) finished the year with a batting average of .400, becoming just the eighth Calvin player to record a batting average of .400 or higher and also becoming the first freshman in Calvin history to do so.