Tyler Gulick hyperextended his knee and suffered bone bruises during East Lansing’s doubleheader with Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern on Saturday.
But the East Lansing senior overcame that and the flu to pitch all six innings, hit three doubles and knock in two runs to help the Trojans top St. Johns 13-3 on Monday night in the 53rd annual Dean Shippey Capital Diamond Classic.
East Lansing (16-9) next faces Eaton Rapids at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in a quarterfinal at Cooley Law School Stadium.
“I was not going to let that hinder my performance tonight,” Gulick said. “It’s mind over matter. Any of my teammates would have done the same thing. I’m just being a part of the team, and being a leader trying to do my best out there for everyone else.”
Gulick had special incentive coming into the game at Kircher/Municipal Park.
“Last year, they ended our postseason,” he said. “We lost to them 2-1 in district opening round. I was pitching that game. So it was kind of a personal vendetta.
“I had faith in my defense. So I just put it in the strike zone. If they hit, hit it.”
Gulick’s first double tied it at 1-1 in the first, his second double put East Lansing ahead for good at 3-2 in the third, and his third double led off a six-run fifth inning that expanded the Trojans’ lead from 6-3 to 12-3.
“I’m seeing the ball well, and trying to relax and not do anything too special,” he said.
East Lansing coach Mark Pendred was impressed with Gulick.
“It took a lot of guts to come out here,” he said. “He was sick all day, and he hurt himself on Saturday. To do what he did out there was tremendous, and a big pick up for the team.”
Andy Petersmark and Dean Coulter were also among those who had multiple hits among the Trojans’ total of 15.
St. Johns (21-5) had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning.
“Avery Maurer had another good game,” Redwings coach Jake Parker said. “He had two doubles, and he’s a great catcher. Austin Smith had a double, and Matt Pearsall had a couple of hits. We hit fine, and we didn’t play bad defensively. They just hit the ball. We think we’ve got some pretty good pitchers. I was very impressed with East Lansing.”