Baseball Splits on Tuesday in Winter Haven
Will Hagel hit his first collegiate homer in the opener. (Dave Schofield)
Baseball Splits on Tuesday in Winter Haven
Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Valparaiso won its opening game on Tuesday afternoon at Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven, Fla. for the 1,100th victory in school history, defeating Saint Bonaventure 17-13. The Crusaders then dropped the night cap 16-8 against Maine.

In the opener against the Bonnies, the Crusaders fell behind 3-0 in the second before erupting for six runs in the bottom half of the frame.  Will Hagel (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) started the uprising with his first collegiate homer while Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) added a two-run double in the inning.

Saint Bonaventure answered tied the game in the third before the Crusaders scored a pair in the bottom of the third to take an 8-6 lead.  An unearned run in the seventh made it 9-6 Valpo on a Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda H.S.) double before the Bonnies closed within one in the fifth following a homer and two doubles.

Valpo put up a three spot in the sixth on four hits, and added a run in the seventh, only to see Saint Bonaventure tie the game with two in the seventh and three in the eighth.

A single by Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) broke the tie in the eighth before Justin Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) plated two more with a double.  Gaedele added a single for the fourth run in the frame to cap the scoring.

Valpo tallied 17 hits in the contest, including three each from Gaedele and Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.) while Frane drove home five runs and Gaedele added three more.

McCormick (1-0) earned the victory in relief for the Crusaders while Jordan Crane suffered the loss (0-1) for Saint Bonaventure (0-4).

In the night cap against Maine, Valpo jumped on top 5-0 in the first two innings.  Gaedele had a two-run single in the second to cap a five RBI day for the sophomore.

The Black Bears cut into the lead with two in the second on a single and added five more in the third, including a pair of unearned runs, to take the lead, taking advantage of six walks as well.

Run-scoring singles by Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.), who extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games dating back to last season and a RBI ground out by Robinson tied the game in the third.

Maine took the lead with a single run in the sixth, the broke it open in the seventh with eight more, capped by a three-run homer by Michael Fransoso.  A Bo McClendon (Chesterton, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) single plated Valpo’s final run in the eighth.

Frane had four hits in the second game, giving him six on the day to lead Valpo’s 11-hit attack in the night cap.  Maine (2-5) got four RBIs each from Fransoso and Joey Martin while banging out 13 hits.

Justin Latta earned the win (1-0) for the Black Bears while Steve Godawa (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) suffered the loss (0-1) for the Brown and Gold.

“It has been tough for us to play in the 20-30 mile per hour winds the last three games,” head coach Tracy Woodson  “Our pitchers are better than what they have shown.” said.

Valparaiso (2-6) will return to action on Wednesday with a 2 p.m. CST contest against Western Michigan at Lake Myrtle Stadium in Auburndale, Fla.