MIDLAND, MICH. – The Northwood University baseball team completed a weekend series sweep over Wayne State with a pair of wins in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon (April 24). Northwood took game one 4-2 before posting a 2-1 victory in game two.
Northwood took all four games in the series to improve to 21-17 overall, 11-9 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Wayne State, which entered the weekend on a six-game winning streak, now stands at 21-18 overall, 13-9 in the GLIAC.
Wayne State came out strong in game one, plating a run in the top of the first inning. NU responded with a single run in the bottom of the frame to level the score. The Warriors continued their hot start in the second. WSU had runners on second and third with two runs in when Northwood starter Larry Wood (Essexville, Mich./Garber) settled into the game. He got out of the inning and proceeded to allow just two singles and a walk through the sixth inning. Northwood then earned the win thanks to a three-run fifth inning.
Both teams finished with eight hits in the game. A big key to the win proved to be extra-base hits, where Northwood held a 4-0 edge (four doubles).
Conner Foley (Bay City, Mich./Western/Saginaw Valley State) went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Daniel Pulver (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) had a two-run double as well for the Timberwolves. Wood's final line was solid after the rough start – six innings pitched, two runs on seven hits while striking out five. Matt Stojkov (Northville, Mich./Saginaw Valley State) got the final three outs of the game to pick up his second save of the season.
WSU scored their lone run of game two in the first inning to take the early lead. But for the fourth time in the four-game series, Northwood got on the board in the first inning with a run to tie the game. The Timberwolves took the lead in the fifth inning thanks to a leadoff triple by Miles Hardy (Lake Orion, Mich.) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Foley. Wayne State had numerous chances to score, finishing the game with 10 hits and four walks, but the Warriors left 13 runners on base.
Northwood was out-hit by Wayne State 10-5, but extra base hits proved once again to be key in the contest. NU had two extra-base hits – a home run by Cody Kuzniczci (Madeira, Ohio/Northern Kentucky) and the triple by Hardy. Both of those hits led directly to runs. WSU ended the game with nine singles and one double.
Kuzniczci went 2-2 with a home run, a run scored and two walks. Seven different pitchers combined to allow one run in nine innings, with Dylan Roberts (Howell, Mich./Kalamazoo Valley CC) picking up his first win at Northwood. Stojkov pitched the final two innings to pick up his second save of the day and third of the season.
Northwood will host Alma College in a non-conference contest Tuesday afternoon (April 26). First pitch is set for 4 p.m.