Valparaiso, Ind. - Eddie Hannan belted two home runs and had five RBIs and Tom Starck recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts as Valpo defeated Illinois Tech 20-1. The Crusaders finished with 21 hits, including four home runs -three of which were three-run shots. Valpo outscored its opponents 40-1 over the last two days (defeated Lewis 20-0 Thursday).
Hannan, Valpo's lone senior in the everyday lineup, broke a scoreless tie in the second with a two-run opposite-field blast over the right field wall. The second baseman hit his team-leading fifth homer of the season - a three-run shot - as part of a six-run, fifth inning. Hannan has nine RBIs over the last two games.
The Crusaders (9-20), who had 16 of their hits in innings five through seven, followed with six-run innings in both the sixth and seventh frames. Freshman Colin Reynolds hit a long three-run homer - the first of his career - over the right field fence in the sixth. Another freshman, Ryan Manthei, belted Valpo's third three-run roundtripper to key the seventh-inning uprising.
Josh Piazza, a freshman, produced three doubles (2 RBIs) in consecutive at bats. Manthei also finished with three hits, while Kevin Kutansky (2 hits) and Kevin Perri added two RBIs. Mike Arensdorff also tallied two hits as 13 Crusaders hit safely for the second straight game.
Starck (3-5) hurled 7 strong innings, allowing one run on three hits and six walks. His 13 strikeouts surpassed his previous career-high of 12 achieved twice last season. The senior lefty has recorded 57 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings this season. Adam Knobel pitched hitless and scoreless ball over the final 2 innings.
Illinois Tech (13-19) scored its run in the fifth on Mario Urquizo's RBI double to trim Valpo's lead to 2-1. Starter B.J. Froehlich suffered the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits, while striking out one and walking none. The Scarlet Hawks used four pitchers.
After having a bye weekend in the Mid-Continent Conference, Valpo will host Northwestern on Tuesday at 3 p.m.