Kalamazoo, Mich. - Valpo scored nine runs in the sixth inning and went on to defeat Western Michigan 11-6. Matt Augustine belted his first career homer - a two-run shot - and Kevin Kutansky and Troy Garrett had two RBIs each.
Jeff Rickert, Mike Arensdorff and Brian Rzepka had two hits and one RBI each for the Crusaders.
Valpo (14-26) turned around a 6-1 deficit with its largest one-inning output of the season in the sixth. The nine-run frame included six hits and the Crusaders were aided by five Western Michigan errors. Kutansky's two-run double, Garrett's two-RBI sacrifice fly, Rickert's RBI triple and Arensdorff's RBI ground ball gave Valpo an 8-6 lead before Augustine hammered his two-run shot.
The Crusaders' final tally occurred when Arensdorff touched home as a result of a wild pitch in the eighth.
Matt Gillikin (2-2) was a workhorse for Valpo, hurling 7 2/3 innings. The righthander allowed six earned runs and 14 hits, while striking out one and walking three.
Gillikin and Chris Riley (1 1/3 innings) did not allow a Bronco run after the fifth inning. Riley fanned two, while allowing one hit and no walks.
Western Michigan (17-25) took a 3-0 lead in the first on Justin Carter's solo homer and RBI singles by Tony Scheffler and Kyle Maumus. Scheffler went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
The Broncos, who used six pitchers, yielded eight earned runs. Bryan Rumple (1-2) suffered the loss in relief, yielding five earned runs and six hits in 2 innings.
Valpo (6-6 Mid-Con) travels to Southern Utah (4-8) to begin a four-game Mid-Continent Conference series on Thursday. The Crusaders and Thunderbirds play one, 9-inning game on Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. CST.