Shreveport, La. - Mike Arensdorff belted a two-run homer and Ryan Manthei had two hits and two RBIs to lead Valpo to a 7-5 victory over Centenary in the Mid-Continent Conference opener. Centenary won the nightcap 9-6.
In the first game, Valpo (5-19, 1-1) scored three times in the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. Kevin Kutansky touched home after a wild pitch and Manthei followed with a two-run double.
Tyler Lowell, who went 4-for-6 with one RBI in the twinbill, drove home Eddie Hannan, who led off the fourth inning with a triple.
Centenary cut the Crusaders' lead to 4-2 with a run in the fourth. Arensdorff answered with his fourth roundtripper of the season in the fifth after Jeff Rickert led off the inning by reaching on an error.
The Gents scored three in the seventh to trim their deficit to 6-5. Valpo responded with an unearned insurance tally in the eighth.
Tom Starck (2-5) earned the victory, pitching 6 1/3 innings. The senior southpaw allowed five runs on seven hits, while fanning seven and yielding five walks. Patrick Paulus hurled 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball for his second save.
David Ruffing (5-3) suffered the loss, pitching 7 innings. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits, while striking out seven and walking three. Blake Adkison had three hits and three RBIs for Centenary.
In the nightcap, Centenary scored five times in the first three innings and broke the game open with a four-run fifth.
Kevin Perri (.375) had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Troy Garrett added a two-run single for the Crusaders. Arensdorff (.333) had two hits.
Kyle Obenauf (1-4) started on the mound, pitching 2/3 of an inning. Nick Rotunno (3 1/3) and Adam Knobel (2) pitched in relief for Valpo.
Kevin Willborn (4-3) went the distance for the Gents, allowing five earned runs on 11 hits, while striking out six and walking one. A.J. Howes had two hits and three RBIs for Centenary.
Centenary hosts Valpo in another doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon CST.