In a game which saw 37 runs, 45 hits, 11 errors, and 14 walks, Valparaiso came up on the short end of a 23-14 final against Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Jacksonville Tournament held at Sessions Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) went 6-for-6 with a double and two runs scored while Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) added four hits, four runs, and three RBIs to pace the Crusader attack as Valpo banged out 22 hits on the afternoon.
Valpo jumped on top 5-0 after scoring one in the first and four in the second. The Dolphins posted a 10-spot in the bottom of the second, utilizing eight hits, four walks, and an error to take the lead for good.
The Crusaders fought back, adding a run in the third and four more in the fifth to cut the deficit to 11-10. The Dolphins scored seven times in the sixth inning though, and both teams tallied three in the seventh in the offensive slugfest.
“We swung the bats well again, like we did all weekend,” head coach Tracy Woodson said after the game. “Unfortunately our pitching could not hold them down. O’Gara is really hitting the ball hard and Gaedele had a big weekend as well.”
Will Hagel (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) also drove home three runs for the Crusaders, while Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Delton Kellogg H.S.) had two RBIs.
Alex Martinez and Jamaal Hawkins each drove home four runs for Jacksonville (4-3) while Jimmy Howick went 4-for-5 for the hosts.
Will Robinson (Placentia, Calif./Valencia H.S.) started and suffered the loss (0-2) for the Crusaders, working just 1.1 innings while allowing six runs on five hits. He was one of eight Valpo pitchers on the afternoon. Kentrail Pierce earned the victory (2-0) in relief for Jacksonville, one of six Dolphin hurlers on the day.
Valparaiso (1-5) will take the day off on Monday before returning to action on Tuesday in Winter Haven, Fla. with a pair of games. The Crusaders will face Saint Bonaventure first at 1:30 p.m. CST before battling Maine at 5 p.m. CST.