Evansville, Ind. - IPFW scored the winning run on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Valpo 4-3 in the Governor's Cup Tournament. Colin Reynolds went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Crusaders.
Elliott Gibbs pitched 7 strong innings for Valpo (0-3), allowing one earned run on four hits. The sophomore righty struck out nine and walked three.
IPFW (1-5) set up the game-winning tally in the ninth with a leadoff single by Ryan Steinbach, followed by a walk. After Chris Riley replaced Matt Gillikin on the mound, the Mastodons executed a sacrifice bunt which advanced the runners to second and third with one out. Following an intentional walk, Ryan Keena hit a ground ball to Eddie Hannan at second, who threw to the shortstop to force the runner at second. However, the throw from the shortstop was late to first and Steinbach scored the winning run.
Valpo took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on Reynolds' two-run single. IPFW answered with one in the bottom of the fourth and took a 3-2 advantage with two more in the sixth on Caleb Smith's single.
The Crusaders tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh on Hannan's RBI fielder's choice ground out, scoring Kevin Perri.
Gillikin (0-1) took the loss in relief, while Doug McDonald (1-0) earned the victory. Valpo finished with eight hits to five for the Mastodons.
Valpo begins an 11-day spring trip schedule in Bradenton, Fla. on Monday by opposing Northeastern University at 8 p.m. CST.