NCAA Division II National Finals - Game 5: No. 14 Grand Valley State Defeats No. 17 Shippensburg 8-4
Mike Nadratowski collected four of Grand Valley State University's 17 hits as the 14th-ranked Lakers downed Shippensburg, 8-4, in an elimination game of the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals Monday at Cary, N.C. The National Finals are co-hosted by Town of Cary and Mount Olive College at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Five other players had two hits each for the Lakers, and all nine hitters in the order collected at least one hit in the game's first five innings as Grand Valley State surged to a 7-0 lead before holding off a pair of late Shippensburg charges.
With the win, Grand Valley State (36-18) advances to an elimination game at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The loss ended the season for the Raiders at 32-23.
The Lakers jumped out to a 1-0 lead two batters into the game and never trailed. Nadratowski tripled into the left field corner to lead off the game, and Stephen Claypool followed with an RBI double down the left field line.
Grand Valley State added two more runs in the first inning to chase starter Tom Bush (6-5), one on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Jamie Potts, and a second on an RBI double by Chris Rudenga.
The Lakers added four more hits and three more runs in the third inning, one of those scoring on an RBI single by Nadratowski. The sophomore outfielder also added RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings.
Held to four hits and no runs through the first five innings by Grand Valley State starter Anthony Campanella (10-4), Shippensburg put together a big inning in the bottom of the sixth, collecting five hits and three runs, one on an RBI single by Pat Kregeloh and two more on a single by Cody Kulp that cut the deficit to 7-3. The Raiders threatened for more in the inning, but Campanella got a double-play ball to end the inning.
Campanella went eight innings, scattering 10 hits and giving up three runs while striking out three and walking none.
Trailing 8-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Shippensburg put together one last rally attempt. Facing the NCAA Division II career saves leader, Brad Zambron, the Raiders collected three consecutive singles to load the bases with no one out. Michael Douglas drove in one run on a sacrifice fly, but Zambron used consecutive flyouts to end the game.
Douglas was one of five Shippensburg players with two hits each.
The victory for Grand Valley State was its first in the National Finals since 2005, when it finished third nationally, and its first in six attempts since the Finals moved to Cary in 2009.
"It was nice to get going offensively early. Everyone was able to contribute and we came up with some key hits with two outs and produce a couple of runs. We have been taking good batting practice so I knew we were capable of breaking out and scoring some runs."
Grand Valley State head coach Jamie Detillion
"I want the ball in these situations. As a captain and a senior leader, I know what needs to be done when I get on the mound. I need to compete every pitch and get as deep in the game as I can. It was nice to have that run support early and get the early lead."
Grand Valley State pitcher Anthony Campanella