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Baseball Takes Two From Hope

Thursday, April 02, 2009

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By Chaz Amidon

GRAND RAPIDS – Calvin wasted no time in extending its win streak over Hope.

Kyle Cousins (Holland/Holland Christian) blasted his first collegiate homerun in the first inning of Game One, and Peter Steiner (Chicago, Ill./Glenbrook South) preserved his unblemished career record on the mound in Game Two as the Knights notched 6-3 and 3-2 wins over the Dutch on Thursday.

“It always feels good to beat Hope,” said Cousins, who hit 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Game One. “We didn’t have very much success against them my first two years. It feels nice to be on the other side of that.”

Cousins and fellow senior Nate Pocock (Wayland, Mass./Wayland), still suffering from tendonitis in their throwing arms, continued to anchor the Knights offensively. Cousins poked a pair of singles in the first game while Pocock went 3-of-3 with two singles and a double in Game Two.

But it was Rob Kool (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) who single-handedly accounted for all three of Calvin’s runs in the second game. He cracked a bloop-single to shallow right field, scoring two runs to help the Knights erase Hope’s early 1-0 lead.

In the fifth inning Kool sent a sac fly into centerfield that scored Matt Schepel (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) from third, breaking a 2-2 tie.

Steiner (3-0) then staved off a late Dutch comeback attempt by recording his only strikeout in the sixth inning and forcing Hope’s Dustin Weis into a double play to end the game.

“I can’t take all the credit,” said Steiner, who is now 11-0 in two years at Calvin. “I always get a lot of offense whenever I pitch, or when it’s not the offense it’s the defense.”

The Knights totaled just four hits in Game Two, but mustered 11 in the opener, where Ben Sietsema (Ada/Northpointe Christian) picked up his second win of the season on the mound. He allowed seven hits, two earned runs and, like Steiner, had only one strikeout.

Sietsema (2-1) is the reigning MIAA Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete-game, two-hitter in a 6-0 win over Kalamazoo last Saturday.

“Siets went out there and did what he usually does,” said Steiner. “We played excellent defense.”

Unlike Saturday, however, Sietsema watched the Dutch crawl back from a 6-0 deficit after the Knights failed to manufacture any runs past the second inning. Cousins rapped an RBI single in the second, Schepel lined an RBI double one batter later and Pocock capped Calvin’s scoring with a run-scoring groundout.

Hope’s Scott Snyder scored on a throwing error in the fourth and knocked a sac fly into right field in the seventh – the last run the Dutch scored.

Hope burst out to an early 1-0 lead in Game Two, but Kool’s sawed-off single rejuvenated the Knights one running later.

“There are always things to work on, and that’s been the case in our second games this year,” said Cousins. “We get a little lax to start the game. That’s definitely something to work on.”

Calvin will now travel to Holland to wrap up its season series with Hope on Saturday in a doubleheader that begins at 1:00 p.m. 

Kyle Cousins Audio Interview

Peter Steiner Audio Interview

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