Ryan Manthei (Kenosha, Wis./Tremper H.S.) had three hits, including two homeruns and scored four times and Valparaiso withstood a ninth inning rally from Austin Peay as the Crusaders defeated the Governors 5-4 for their first victory of the season in the middle game of a three-game weekend series in Clarksville, Tenn.
Manthei homered to lead off the fourth and added another solo shot in the sixth, matching his career long ball total entering this season.
Valpo got on the scoreboard in the second with a pair of runs. Kevin Kutansky (Schererville, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Manthei both scored on head's up baserunning, taking advantage of throwing errors on stolen base attempts.
With a 3-0 lead in the fifth, the Crusaders allowed an unearned run that was plated on a sacrifice fly. An RBI single by Ryan Kane cut the lead to 4-2 in the seventh inning before the Crusaders added what would prove to be a much needed insurance run in the ninth.
A bunt single by Tyler Lowell (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest H.S.) scored Manthei giving the Crusaders a 5-2 lead heading to the last of the ninth.
Austin Peay (5-3) scored twice, and had the bases loaded before Jeff Rickert (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield H.S.) got a pop out to end the game and earn his first career save.
John Snelten (Ingleside, Ill./Antioch H.S.) went 5.2 innings to record the win, his fourth career victory without a defeat. The sophomore did not allow an earned run or walk a hitter while allowing just six hits and striking out two. Nick Mazonne (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) added 2.1 innings of work, allowing just one unearned run before Rickert came on for the ninth.
Michael Parson went six innings for the Governors and took the loss, allowing four runs, two of which were earned. Brandon Munsey went 3-for-4 for Austin Peay while Lane had a pair of hits.
Valparaiso (1-1) and Austin Peay will close out its weekend series on Sunday afternoon in Clarksville with a 1 p.m. start.