Valparaiso, Ind. - Eric Brauer tossed a complete-game, three-hit victory in the second game and Tom Starck and Adam Knobel combined for a victory in the first game as Valpo swept a doubleheader from Chicago State by scores of 5-2 and 8-3.
Jeff Rickert, who had four hits in the first game, went 5-for-9 with two RBIs in the twinbill. Kevin Kutansky went 3-for-4 in the nightcap and finished the day 4-for-7 with two RBIs. Mike Arensdorf (two RBIs) and Brian Rzepka (one RBI) had three hits in the doubleheader. Kevin Perri belted a solo homer in the second game - his fourth of the season.
In the first game, Valpo took a 2-0 lead in the second when Rzepka tripled home Tyler Lowell, who had singled with two outs. Rickert then plated Rzepka with a single.
Starck (5-8) held Chicago State scoreless until the fifth when the Cougars pushed across two runs on Bryan Packard's single.
Valpo (19-33, 10-12 Mid-Con) regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Perri and Kutansky singled to lead off the frame and Colin Reynolds hit an RBI groundout, scoring Perri.
The Crusaders, who had 14 hits in the game, added two insurance runs in the seventh. Kutansky hammered an RBI double, scoring Arensdorff who had doubled. Eddie Hannan delivered a two-out, RBI single to give Valpo a 5-2 lead.
Starck, who pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowed two runs and four hits, while striking out 10 and yielding four walks. Knobel hurled the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his sixth save.
In the second game, Brauer's pitching and the Crusaders' offense set the tone. A junior righthander, Brauer shut out the Cougars through five innings.
Valpo scored two in the first on Kutansky's RBI double and Matt Augustine's sacrifice fly. Hannan's two-run single in the third and Perri's solo shot to left in the fifth increased the lead to 5-0.
After Chicago State (7-51, 4-18) scored one run in the sixth, Valpo added three more in the bottom of the frame. Rickert singled home one run and Arensdorff added a two-run single.
The Cougars, who loaded the bases in the seventh, scored one run on a hit-by-pitch and another on a double-play ball to pull within 8-3.
Brauer (4-1) allowed three runs and three hits, while fanning two and walking two in 7 innings.
Valpo hosts Chicago State in another doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. The result could determine whether Valpo will qualify for the Mid-Con Tournament May 27-29 in Shreveport, La.
Prior to Saturday's first game, seniors Eddie Hannan, Troy Garrett, Adam Paeztnick and Tom Starck will be recognized.