Valparaiso (8-16, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Game #25 vs. Indiana State (15-14, 1-5 MVC)
Tues., April 10, 3 p.m. CDT - Emory G. Bauer Field
Game #26 at Northern Illinois (17-10, 7-2 MAC)
Wed., April 11, 3 p.m. CDT - DeKalb, Ill.
Games #27-30 at North Dakota St. (3-17, Independent)
Sat., April 14, 1 p.m. CDT (DH) - Fargo, N.D.
Sun., April 15, 12 p.m. CDT (DH) - Fargo, N.D.
This Week in Crusader Baseball: Valparaiso returns to Emory G. Bauer Field on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders host Indiana State to begin a week which will see the team take to the diamond six times. The Brown and Gold then heads to DeKalb, Ill. on Wednesday to battle Northern Illinois before traveling up north to Fargo, N.D. for a four-game weekend series at North Dakota State on Saturday and Sunday.
On the Air: Tuesday's game against Indiana State will be carried live online at www.sportsjuice.com. In addition, Wednesday's contest at Northern Illinois will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Pitching Rotation: Harvey Yergin (1-4, 4.19 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Crusaders on Tuesday against Indiana State. Ranko Ivetic (1-2, 7.71) will take the ball for Valpo in Wednesday's contest. On Saturday in the twinbill against North Dakota State, Elliott Gibbs (2-2, 4.72) and Nick Mazzone (1-4, 3.77) are scheduled to pitch to begin the series. Yergin will return to the mound for the Brown and Gold on Sunday, with the game two starter to be determined at a later date.
Wrapping Up Last Week's Action: Valpo opened the week sweeping a doubleheader from Robert Morris (Ill.), winning the opening game 6-0 and taking game two 3-2 in nine innings. Harvey Yergin tossed a complete game shutout in the opener, allowing just three hits. In game two, Joe Lazar drew a bases loaded walk to force home the winning run. The Crusaders extended their winning streak to three on Saturday with a 6-5 victory at Southern Illinois. Jason Brunelli drove home three runs, including his first homerun of the season. The Salukis won the final game of the series on Sunday with a 7-0 victory. Cody Adams limited Valpo to just two hits on the day.
Scouting Indiana State: The Sycamores won three out of four against the Crusaders in Terre Haute earlier this season. Chris Schmidt leads the way offensively hitting .387 while Dave Brumagin is hitting at a .333 clip. Indiana State's scheduled starter, Matt Shelton, is 1-0 with a 3.33 earned run average in 24.1 innings. He has struck out 24 while allowing just 16 hits.
Scouting Northern Illinois: The Huskies have jumped out to a 7-2 start in the Mid-American Conference and have won four of their last five contests overall. Danny Reed and Dave Reynolds lead Northern Illinois at the plate, each hitting .381. Reed has driven in 20 runs on the year. Jesse Seykora has hit seven homers while adding 32 RBIs to go along with a .373 batting average. Matt German leads the pitching staff with a 0.41 ERA in 22 innings. He has struck out 29 and allowed just one earned run.
Scouting North Dakota State: The Bison have dropped their last four games and 15 of their last 16 games overall. Shannon Ekermans leads the way at the plate hitting .288 while Matt Mossey is hitting .286 with a team-high 16 runs batted in. On the mound, Jake Laber has posted a 2-3 record with a 4.12 ERA. He has struck out 30 in 39.1 innings of work.
Butler Game Rescheduled as Part of Twinbill: The Valpo-Butler game that was rained out last Tuesday (Apr. 3) in Indianapolis will be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 1 at Emory G. Bauer Field. The start time for the games has been moved up to 1 p.m. CDT.
Hitting Streaks Come to an End: A pair of lengthy hitting streaks came to an end this past week for Crusader hitters. Brian Rzepka had hit safely in 12 straight contests before failing to connect in the opener against Robert Morris (Ill.). Michael Arensdorff also had hit safely in 12 straight game prior to being held hitless in Saturday's game at Southern Illinois. For Arensdorff, he had hit safely in 21 of Valpo's first 22 games this season.
Valpo Backstops Producing: Josh Piazza and Joe Lazar have split time behind the plate for the Crusaders this season, with both producing positive results at the plate. Piazza is hitting .311 in 13 games for Valpo while Lazar is hitting at a .333 clip. Lazar has hit safely in each of his last six games, the longest current hitting streak on the team.
Yergin Turns in Masterpiece: Harvey Yergin earned his first victory of the season on Thursday with a complete game shutout against Robert Morris. The senior allowed just three hits and did not walk a batter while striking out three in the seven-inning contest.
Evans Keeps Batters Off Base: Matt Evans has made the most of his seven appearances this season. In 7.2 innings, he has allowed just one earned run (1.17 ERA) and opponents are hitting just .192 against him. He has not allowed an extra base hit this season.
Crusaders Go Deep in Opener at Southern Illinois: Valpo had hit just 10 homeruns in the first 22 games this season, but the Crusaders went deep three times in the opener of the weekend series at Southern Illinois. Jeff Rickert, Jason Brunelli, and Josh Wallace all hit their first round trippers of the season against the Salukis.
Mazzone and Yergin Among Mid-Con Leaders: Nick Mazzone and Harvey Yergin both rank among the top pitchers in the Mid-Continent Conference. Mazzone's 3.77 earned run average ranks third in the league while Harvey Yergin is tied for fifth with his 4.19 ERA.
Arensdorff Continues to Lead the Mid-Con in Hitting: Michael Arensdorff continues to top the Mid-Con charts in hitting this season. The fifth-year senior's .386 average leads the league by 14 points over Justin Wilson of Oakland. In addition, Arensdorff's 39 hits in 24 games rank third in the league. The only players ahead of him have played nine more games this year.
Arensdorff Fourth All-Time in Total At Bats: Michael Arensdorff has moved into fourth place on Valpo's career at bats list with 713. He is just 48 at bats shy of Marc Boggio's career mark of 761. Mark Pedersen ranks second with 737 career at bats.
Rzepka Also Moves Up At Bats List: Brian Rzepka has moved into seventh place all-time with 639 career at bats following his 77 this season. He is five at bats shy of J.J. Swiatkowski for sixth place in school history.
Arensdorff Closing in on Hits Record: With 39 hits this season, Michael Arensdorff now has 236 for his Valpo career. He is 15 base hits shy of Mark Pederson's school record of 251 and currently sits in third place on the Crusaders' all-time charts.
Arensdorff Also Fourth in Career Doubles: Michael Arensdorff also ranks fourth on Valpo's career two-bagger list with 49 career doubles. The fifth-year senior already has nine doubles this season to lead the team.
Yergin Sixth on Innings Pitched List: Harvey Yergin has moved into sixth place on Valpo's career innings pitched list with 260.1 over his four-year career with the Brown and Gold. With 13.1 more innings he will match Jeff Brooks for fifth place on the career list.
Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in sixth place in the Mid-Continent Conference preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches. Oral Roberts was picked to win the league crown followed by Western Illinois and Oakland. Southern Utah was tabbed fourth and Centenary fifth.