In close games for the Grand Rapids Community College baseball team they haven’t been on the right side of win-loss column so far this season.
Tuesday night they found a way to land on the right side of that column.
GRCC won both games of a doubleheader over Davenport University, the first game 2-1 and the second game 3-2.
“Our pitching was outstanding all night long,” said Coach Mike Cupples. “When we needed big hits late in the game tonight we pulled through.
“Sam Traver had a great night on the mound even though he didn’t get credit for the win. He got his speed up and his breaking ball was working, it’s going to be big for him going forward.”
Traver went six strong innings for the Raiders, allowing just one run that was unearned on four hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks. Shane Odzark got credit for the win on just one inning of work giving up no runs and no hits, with two strikeouts and one walk.
Dalton Phillips went 1-for-4 with the lone RBI for the Raiders in game one. Brendan Johnson scored on a passed ball for the eventual game-winning run.
“We played with hustle in that first game and we grinded out that win,” Cupples said. “Brendan had a nice heads up play late for us to score a run.”
In game two the late heroics continued for GRCC when Jalen Cox hit his first home run of the year in the sixth inning to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead, which would be enough for the win.
“Jalen came up huge for us when we needed it big time,” Cupples said. “You just had a feeling that ball was out when he hit it.”
Cox went 2-for-4 with all three RBI’s for the Raiders and a run scored. Johnson also had a nice game going 3-for-4.
Trevor Russo started the game and went five innings giving up two runs, neither of which were earned. Russo allowed four hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Jackson Shaver got the win (1-1) on one inning of work allowing no runs while striking out the side. Ean Walda got credit for the save (2) while giving up no hits with a strikeout.
For coach Cupples and the Raiders, they look to use the late game momentum going forward to keep the wins coming.
“It was a big turnaround from Aquinas where we lost a close game,” Cupples said. “Tonight we were the ones making the clutch late plays.
“It feels really good to get two close wins because instead of a negative feeling afterwards, it’s all positive.”
Up next for the Raiders (4-13) is a doubleheader versus Jackson College at 1 p.m. April 9. The game will be played at Davenport due to GRCC’s home field still being unusable because of field conditions.