Michael Arensdorff (Eldridge, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) set the Valparaiso and Mid-Continent Conference hit record on Tuesday afternoon but the Crusaders dropped a doubleheader to Butler 10-5 and 3-1 at Emory G. Bauer Field.
Arensdorff's infield single in the bottom of the sixth inning of game one gave him 252 for his career, passing Mark Pedersen (1999-2002) on both lists.
Butler jumped in front in the opening inning, scoring six times in the opening inning. Alex Montagano hit a three-run homer to centerfield as the Bulldogs sent 10 batters to the plate in the opening inning. Five of the runs were unearned.
Valpo slowly climbed back into the game. Mark Schoeck's (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellfontaine H.S.) double scored Ryan Manthei (Kenosha, Wis./Tremper H.S.) and Joe Lazar (Traverse City, Mich./Central H.S.) added a sacrifice fly as the Crusaders cut the deficit to 6-2 after two innings. Brian Rzepka's (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.) run-scoring groundout in the third brought Valpo to within three.
In the fourth, Jeff Rickert (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield H.S.) laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to plate Lazar, who had reached on an error. Manthei added a triple to right in the fifth scoring Dallas Cawiezell (Long Grove, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) and Valpo was within one, 6-5.
Butler responded with four more runs in the sixth though to provide the insurance needed for the victory. Ricky Chomicz homered in the inning, one of five extra base hits in the inning.
Manthei went 3-for-3 with a walk for Valpo in the opener to lead the way. Joe Pauley had four hits in as many at bats along with two RBIs for Butler, as the Bulldogs banged out 16 hits.
Matt Stucky (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran H.S.) started and suffered the loss (0-1) for the Crusaders while Matt Byzet (1-1) earned the win in relief for Butler, allowing just two hits in three innings of work.
Game two saw the Bulldogs again jump in front in the opening inning. Two walks set up a Montagano single and Butler led 2-0. Following 44 minute rain delay before the bottom of the first, both pitcher's made quick work in their respective half innings.
Ranko Ivetic (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) allowed just four hits over the next four innings to keep Valpo in the contest. The Crusaders got one run back in the top of the sixth against Butler's Jamie Feldheiser. Cawiezell's single to left scored Rickert, cutting the Bulldog lead to 2-1 and extending his hitting streak to nine straight games in the process.
Butler (18-26) added an insurance run in the seventh to secure the win with a sacrifice fly.
Ivetic (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings. Feldheiser (2-1) earned the win, allowing just one run and five hits. Josh Piazza (Glenview, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) was the only Crusader with two hits in the nightcap.
Valparaiso (15-25, 4-4 Mid-Con) will host Western Illinois (27-18, 8-4) on Friday and Saturday in a pair of Mid-Continent Conference doubleheaders at Emory G. Bauer Field. First pitch both days is set for 12 p.m.