UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University baseball team opened a four-game series with rival Northwood University, taking a 12-inning thriller on Friday at the SVSU Baseball Complex.
Down 10-8 in the 11th, Todd Paperd singled to right field to drive in one, while the tying run came home on an error by the Northwood right fielder on the same play. Paperd came through again in the 12th, with a two-out RBI single, scoring Tucker Roe for the walk-off 11-10 win.
The victory pushes SVSU to 12-8 overall and 8-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
After Northwood scored two in the second and one in the third to take an early advantage, the Cardinals put up six unanswered runs. Martin Money got SVSU on the board with an RBI triple and scored later in the third on a double from Austin Koin. The Cardinals evened the game at 3-3 in third on an RBI single from Roe.
SVSU scored three more in the fourth with RBIs from Connor McClennen, Money, and Roe. The game tilted back in favor of Northwood 7-6 as the Timberwolves scored two in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Roe recorded his third RBI of the game in the sixth to tie the score, while Brandon Scheurer put SVSU up later in the inning on an RBI single.
Northwood tied the game at 8-8 in the seventh and the score remained the same into the 11th. The Timberwolves took control with two runs in the top of the inning, but the Cardinals answered on Paperd's clutch hit in the bottom half, scoring two. SVSU closed it out in the 12th with the game-winning hit from Paperd.
SVSU finished with 17 hits, including three for Money and three for Paperd. Hunter Merillat (3-0) got the win in relief, pitching five innings, allowing two runs on five hits, walking two, and striking out four.
The series continues with a 7-9 doubleheader starting at 12:35 pm Saturday at the SVSU Baseball Complex.