Hensley, NKU Sports Information
- In baseball, all it takes is one inning to change the outcome
of a game. This held true for the Northern Kentucky University baseball
team as the Norse were swept in a doubleheader by Grand Valley State,
7-2 and 7-6 on Saturday.
runs were plated in the fourth and fifth innings in the opener.
In the fourth, designated hitter Kevin Dusold, an Oak Hills graduate
and transfer from St. Catherine College, singled to left field and
later scored when center fielder Jim Volpe punched an RBI single
RBI single with two out in the bottom of the fifth drove in Jake
Shaffer. That was all the Norse could muster off Grand Valley starter
Vince Rizzi (1-0), who finished the day with 4 2/3 innings pitched,
two runs, one earned run, and one strikeout.
Game two saw
the Norse get off to a good start as Shaffer and Dusold continued
to swing hot bats. Dusold’s RBI single to right-center scored
Shaffer, who had led off the game with a single. Then in the fifth
inning, trailing by a score of 3-1, Jon Back scored on by Kory Lonergan
RBI single to cut the lead to 3-2.
NKU would take
the lead in the top of the sixth. With two outs, senior Chris Nann
powered a home run to right field through a strong wind off reliever
Matt Huml to tie the game at 3-all. The solo shot was Nann’s
first home run of the season.
and later scored from second on a Larry Pempek double. Pempek scored
as Shaffer blasted a pitch deep into center field. The speedy Shaffer
saw the play develop in front of him and was given the signal to
score for the potential inside-the-park home run. Two great relays
gunned down Shaffer, who looked like he was going to easily score.
The rally ended with the Norse leading by a score of 6-3.
Nathan Jones, a graduate of Pendleton County High School, pitched
what has to be the best start by a Norse starter of the season.
The 6-foot-5 junior right-hander looked strong (92-93 mph fastball)
during the game. It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh
that fatigue started to set in as his pitch count went over 100
for the afternoon. Jones ended the day with 6 1/3 innings pitched,
five hits, five runs all of which were earned, six walks and nine
single put runners on first and second, Jones was pulled in favor
of the hard-throwing senior lefty, Josh Bruns. With a 0-2 count
on his first batter, Bruns (0-2) plunked Spud McKenzie on an inside
pitch. Following Smith’s RBI walk, Derek Hinke stepped to
the plate with the chance to be the hero for the Lakers.
disappoint head coach Steve Lyon as he proceeded to send a thundering
blast over the head of Shaffer in left field. The walk-off double
cleared the bases with Smith sliding into home just before the relay
throw reached the catcher for the deciding run.
With the sweep
on the day, GVSU opened the season with a 2-0 record while the Norse
fell to 1-6.
NKU will next
be in action on March 3rd as the Norse travel to Florida for their
spring break trip. NKU faces Florida Southern in three games (March
3-4), defending NCAA Division II national champion Tampa in a single
game (March 5), and GLVC rival Missouri-St. Louis for three games
to start the conference season (March 9-10).
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