Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Northfield H.S.) did not allow an earned run in 7.2 innings of work on Friday afternoon, but Austin Peay rallied with four runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Valparaiso 5-4 in Clarksville, Tenn.
Shafer struck out seven, but got a no decision for his effort, despite allowing just one unearned run and four hits on the afternoon. The freshman right-hander walked just one in his second collegiate start.
“Bryce dominated the game for seven plus innings,” head coach Tracy Woodson said afterwards.
Valpo jumped in front with two runs in the fourth inning. Zach Rodeghero (New Lennox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) doubled to right-center, which scored Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.), and came around to score himself on an error by the Governors’ catcher.
John Giusti (Coventry, R.I./Coventry H.S.) added a RBI double in the fifth inning to increase the Crusaders lead to 3-0, scoring Mark Schoeck (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellfontaine H.S.), who led off the inning with a single.
Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) added Valpo’s final run in the eighth, leading off the inning with a double. Following a sacrifice bunt which moved him to third, Andrew Quinnette (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.) added a sacrifice fly.
Austin Peay (2-2) got on the scoreboard in the eighth, scoring an unearned run. The Governors then took advantage of several Valpo miscues in the ninth for the winning rally. Two singles, two walks, two hit batters, and an error plated the four runs to give the hosts the come-from-behind victory.
“We need to learn how to win at the end,” Woodson added.
Ryne Harper earned the win in relief for Austin Peay, allowing one run in two innings of work. Elliott Gibbs (Munster, Ind./Munster H.S.) suffered the loss for the Crusaders.
Valpo had five hits in the ball game to the Governors’ seven, and committed three errors leading to a pair of unearned runs.
Valparaiso (2-2) will return to action against Illinois State in Clarksville, Tenn. on Saturday morning. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. CST.