Marshall scored seven times in the second through fourth innings on Tuesday afternoon on the way to a 9-4 victory over Valparaiso in Louisa, Ky.
The Crusaders struck first as Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.) homered to right field in the top of the first inning, his first long ball with the Brown and Gold. Marshall answered with two in the bottom of the second, one on a Nate Lape homerun. Lape hit his second homer of the game with two aboard in the third to increase the Thundering Hurd’s lead to 5-1.
Valpo scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth on a double play but Kenney Socorno hit a two-run homer for Marshall in the bottom of the fourth and the Thundering Herd added another in the fifth to take an 8-2 lead.
Josh Wallace (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine H.S.) hit his fourth homerun of the season, and third in the last two days, with two aboard in the Valpo sixth inning to cut the Crusader deficit to four, but Marshall added one final run in the bottom of the inning and neither team could push across another run the rest of the way.
Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Northfield H.S.) went five innings on the mound for the Crusaders, suffering his first loss (0-1) as a collegian. He allowed eight runs, seven of which were earned, and nine hits while walking four.
“Bryce pitched okay for us today,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “He walked a couple batters that scored on homeruns. We need to keep the ball down when playing on a smaller field like this.”
Dan Straily (1-1) earned the win for Marshall, working five innings and allowing just one earned run and two hits while striking out seven Valpo hitters.
Valparaiso (2-10) and Marshall (3-6) will meet again in Louisa on Wednesday morning for a doubleheader beginning at 9 a.m. CDT.