Rochester, Mich. - Valpo's Tom Starck struck out a career-high 12 in earning a complete-game 4-1 victory over Oakland in the first game of a Mid-Continent Conference doubleheader. Oakland won the second game 4-1. Marc Boggio had three RBIs in the Crusaders' win, while Brandon Sadler belted his fourth home run in the nightcap. Eric Snyder had four hits on the day for Valpo.
Starck (2-1) was dominating, fanning eight of Oakland's final 14 hitters. A junior lefthander, Starck hurled 9 innings, allowing one run and eight hits, while not issuing a walk. The Golden Grizzlies' lone run came on a home run by Will Tollison in the eighth inning.
Valpo (11-24-1, 2-4 Mid-Con) scored early, plating two runs in the first inning. After Sean Peickert doubled to left center, Boggio lined a RBI single to center. Boggio advanced to third on Sadler's single to right and scored on Jeff Mandsager's fielder's choice groundout.
The Crusaders increased their lead to 3-0 in the third when Snyder led off with a single and moved to third on Peickert's single to right, his second hit of the game. Boggio then brought Snyder home with a fielder's choice groundout.
An insurance run was added in the fifth as Caleb Kimmel led off with a single and advanced to third on Snyder's double to center. Boggio recorded his third RBI of the game with a groundout to the second baseman.
With a 4-0 lead, Starck continued his masterful performance, retiring 15 of the last 20 hitters. The complete game was Starck's first of the season and lowered his team-leading ERA to 3.48.
Billy Schmieder (3-4) pitched 8 innings for Oakland (16-21, 3-3 Mid-Con), allowing four runs and nine hits. He struck out four and walked two.
In the nightcap, the Golden Grizzlies grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Ty Herriott's RBI double, scoring Spencer Hynes, who had singled.
Sadler tied the game in the second with his fourth homer over the right field fence. Oakland took a 3-1 lead in the third on Tollison's two-run single to center. Herriott's RBI single in the fifth accounted for the game's final run.
Elliott Gibbs (1-5) pitched all 6 innings for Valpo, allowing four runs and eight hits. The freshman righthander fanned seven and walked three. Dominic Carmosino (3-8) was solid, allowing one run and five hits, while striking out eight and walking one.
Peickert, Sadler and Eddie Hannan each had two hits on the day.
The two teams play another doubleheader on Sunday beginning at noon EDT.