Valparaiso's bats were hot in the opener of Saturday's doubleheader against Indiana State, but the Sycamores returned the favor in the nightcap as the teams split a twinbill in Terre Haute, Ind. The Crusaders won the opener 11-2 while Indiana State was a 17-5 victor in game two.
In the opener, Valpo took the lead with five runs in the second and never trailed. Josh Piazza (Glenview, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) singled home the first run. Two more runs came across home plate as the result of a Sycamore error and Michael Arensdorff (Eldridge, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) drove home the final two runs with a triple to centerfield.
Indiana State scored single runs in the second and third to cut the deficit to three before Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) homered to lead off the fifth inning. Valpo added two more in the sixth on a two-run single by Brian Rzepka (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.). Dan Portschy (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central H.S.) added the final three insurance runs in the seventh on a homerun to left, his second of the season.
Elliott Gibbs (Munster, Ind./Munster H.S.) pitched a seven-inning complete game to earn the victory (1-2), striking out seven while not walking a hitter and allowing just six hits. Ryan Tatusko (3-3) suffered the loss for Indiana State.
Rzepka and Mark Schoeck (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine H.S.) each had two hits in the opener for the Brown and Gold.
Game two saw Valpo score in the opening inning on a Rzepka sacrifice fly. The Sycamores responded with two in their opening inning as well as two more in the second. Arensdorff's single in the third drove in another run for Valpo, cutting its deficit to 4-2. His single extended his hitting streak to nine straight, his second such streak this season.
Indiana State scored five times in the third to break the game open before Joe Lazar (Traverse City, Mich./Central H.S.) homered in the fourth for the Crusaders. Indiana State scored three more times in the fourth, two in the fifth, and three in the seventh to control the game.
Rzepka singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight in the game for the Crusaders. Josh Abercrombie drove in five Indiana State runs while Chris Schmidt had four hits.
Skyler Pearson (2-0) pitched all nine innings for Indiana State in the win while anko Ivetic (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) struggled for the Brown and Gold, suffering the loss (1-2).
Valparaiso (5-14) and Indiana State (12-12) will conclude their four-game weekend series on Sunday morning with a single game in Terre Haute. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. CDT.