After a four-and-a-half hour rain delay prior to the start of the game, and another 31 minute stoppage in the top of the eighth inning, Arkansas-Little Rock handed Valparaiso its first loss of the season on Friday evening, as the Trojans defeated the Crusaders 5-0 at Gary Hagan Field in Little Rock, Ark.
Jake Sullivan went 6.1 innings for UALR, allowing just three hits while striking out 11 on his way to his second victory (2-0) of the season on the hill.
The Trojans scored four times in the bottom of the first inning and made that hold up, as the Crusaders threatened just once on the night. UALR’s first five hitters of the game all reached safely, including RBI singles by Matt Apfel and Landis Wilson. A double play ground out scored the third run, and Josh Marazzito plated the fourth run of the opening frame with another single.
Valpo put runners on second and third with two outs in the third inning, only to see Sullivan register a strikeout to get out of the inning, the first of seven straight for him during the middle innings.
UALR added a sacrifice fly off the bat of Eric Hanlon in the seventh to round out the scoring, as the Trojans made the most out of their six hits on the night.
The Crusaders managed just five hits on the evening, with neither team having a player register more than one for the game.
Alex Berry (Olney, Ill./East Richland H.S.) (0-1) suffered the loss for the Crusaders in his first start of the season, working six innings allowing five hits and four runs. The senior struck out three and walked just one.
Valparaiso (2-1) and Arkansas-Little Rock (4-2) are scheduled to play game two of the three-game weekend series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.