Kalamazoo Valley claimed three of four in their weekend series with Glen Oaks, thanks to 11-2 and 10-0 home victories Saturday. The Cougar bats were on point with 24 hits and five home runs between the two games, pushing them to sole possession of second in the MCCAA Western Conference.
Kalamazoo Valley opened scoring with a four-run third inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Coldwater alum Austin Krzeminski. The Vikings got three hits to start the fourth, but the Cougars escaped with only one run allowed. A hard collision on a tag near home plate led to some tension into the bottom of the fourth.
KVCC chased starting pitcher Lane Good from the mound not long after a Andrew Szalkowski bomb to open the inning. A few inside pitches from Good led to a warning from the home plate umpire, who made good on the threat after reliever Axton Gerhold came inside on a pitch. Against three pitchers, the Cougars scored six in the fourth inning, including a two-run homer by Gull Lake alum Trenton Quartermaine.
Fellow Blue Devil Nate Wargolet was the winning pitcher with two runs allowed over four innings Justin Pullins pitched three scoreless innings of relief. Colton White had three hits, two runs, and one RBI. An additional three RBI came courtesy of Kawambee Moss.
W- Nate Wargolet: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 K, 2 BB
L- Lane Good: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 K, 1 BB
S- Justin Pullins: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R
The Cougars scored four runs in the first inning, including another three-run homer by Krzeminski. Their other six runs came from a seven-hit fourth inning, featuring a three-run Szalkowski big fly. Quartermaine also had a three hit, three RBI game with a three hit and two run performance from Moss.
Portage Central alum Austin Laurencig quietly pitched a shutout, allowing only one hit and two walks over his five innings.
W- Austin Laurencig: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K, 2 BB
L- Santos Catanzarite: 3 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
With the victories, Kalamazoo Valley moves to 16-16 overall and 13-7 within the MCCAA Western Conference. They hold second place outright with Muskegon next at 12-8 and Grand Rapids at 11-9. Finishing in the top three punches a ticket to the NJCAA Region XII tournament.
The Cougars control their own fate as they conclude regular season play next weekend against last place Ancilla (1-19). They also play non-league action on the road Wednesday against the Adrian College JV.
Glen Oaks falls to 14-21 overall and 8-12 in the MCCAA West, currently fifth place and out of the Region XII running. The Vikings host Jackson in a nine-inning game Tuesday, followed by their Western Conference finale next weekend with Grand Rapids.