ValpoAthletics.com
Valpo Splits Twinbill with North Dakota State

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nick Mazzone (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) tossed a four-hitter in the nightcap, but errors hurt Valparaiso in the opener as the Crusaders split a doubleheader with North Dakota State on Saturday. Valpo lost 12-4 and won 7-1.

Game two saw Mazzone earn a seven-inning complete game, striking out six while allowing just the one run to improve to 2-4.

Valpo jumped in front with three in the first off starter Jeff Hille (0-6). Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) singled home Jeff Rickert (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield H.S.) and later scored on Jason Brunelli's (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.) double. An error late in the inning allowed Brunelli to score an unearned tally.

Rodeghero added RBIs two and three on the afternoon in the second with a single up the middle to increase the lead to 5-0. Colin Reynolds (Crookston, Minn./Central H.S.) led off the third with his first homerun of the season for the sixth Crusader run.

After the Bison answered with one in the bottom of the third, two more North Dakota State errors led to the Crusaders' final run in the fourth.

Rodeghero finished the opener 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and the three runs batted in to lead the eight hit attack for Valpo.

A pair of errors proved costly for the Crusaders in the third inning of the opener, leading to six unearned runs by the Bison. With the game tied at one, back-to-back errors on sacrifice bunt attempts set the stage for the big inning.

Valpo answered with three in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to two. Mark Schoeck (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.) singled home Rickert and Ryan Manthei (Kenosha, Wis./Tremper H.S.) followed with a bases loaded two-run single.

North Dakota State added three runs in the sixth, two coming on a Greg Plecki single, along with single runs in the seventh and eighth for insurance.

The Bison scored first in the game on a sacrifice fly in the opening inning while the Crusaders answered in the top of the second. Josh Piazza's (Glenview, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) single brought home Manthei to knot the game at one.

Jake Laber (3-3) earned the win for North Dakota State, pitching six innings and allowing four runs and 10 hits. Elliott Gibbs (Munster, Ind./Munster H.S.) suffered the loss (2-3), allowing seven runs, only one of which was earned, and four hits in 2.2 innings.

Valparaiso (9-18) and North Dakota State (4-18) will wrap up their four-game weekend series on Sunday with another doubleheader beginning at noon.