Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) continued his hot hitting, but it was not enough for the Crusaders as Illinois State defeated Valparaiso 9-3 on Saturday afternoon in Clarksville, Tenn.
Rodeghero had a single and a homer and drove in a pair of runs as he continued his torrid start. He put Valpo on the scoreboard in the first with a single up the middle to score Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.), who led off the inning with a double.
Illinois State scored two runs in the opening inning and added six in the third to build an 9-1 lead after three-and-a-half innings. Kevin Dubler hit a two-run homer in the third, part of his 4-for-5 day with four runs batted in.
“We left too many balls up early in the game and they hit them,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “We did a better job later, as they only had one hit after the fourth.”
Rodeghero led off the bottom of the fourth with his first homer of the season. He is hitting .579 through five games this year.
“Zach can flat out hit,” said Woodson. “He continues to stay hot for us.”
Valpo added a run in the sixth on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jeff Greco (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) which drove home Andrew Quinnette (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.), who led off the inning with a single.
Valpo could not plate another run the rest of the way.
DeBruin and Rodeghero each had two hits for Valpo, as the Crusaders had nine in the contest. Illinois State (3-2) had an 11-hit attack, led by Dubler.
Rayn Copeland (2-0) earned the win for the Redbirds, working seven innings allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out six. Alex Berry (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick H.S.) suffered the loss (0-2) for Valpo, allowing eight runs in 2.1 innings of work.
Valparaiso (2-3) will close out play in Clarksville, Tenn. on Sunday against Indiana. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. CST.