On what turned out to be a long day of baseball for the Crusaders, Valparaiso defeated Centenary 10-6 in the final game of the four-game weekend series as the Gents ended up taking the series overall. Centenary won 6-5 in eight innings in the completion of yesterday's suspended game and came-from-behind to defeat the Brown and Gold 4-3 in game one of the regularly scheduled doubleheader.
Valpo's bats finally came alive in the finale as the Crusaders scored three times in the opening inning. Kevin Kutansky tripled home a run, Jon Rupno added an RBI single and Josh Piazza chipped in a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Centenary (21-26, 9-9 Mid-Con) came back with two in the second and two in the third but Valpo cut the deficit to 5-4 as Zach Rodeghero came through with a pinch-hit single to plate one. The Crusaders took the lead with two unearned runs in the fifth and added four insurance tallies in the seventh. A bases loaded walk scored one and Rodeghero came through with a two-run hit while Michael Arensdorff brought home the final run. The Gents added one in the bottom of the inning but Valpo held on for the win.
In the completion of yesterday's suspended game, Centenary was the recipient of a bases loaded walk of the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Valpo took a 4-1 lead after four only to have the Gents tie the game. The Crusaders again took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh, scoring on a wild pitch only to have Centenary retie the game in the bottom of the seventh prior to the stoppage in play.
The first game of today's doubleheader saw Kyle Obenauf throw eight innings of five hit, one run ball only to see the Gents score three times in the bottom of the ninth for the victory. Valpo jumped in front with a run in the first as Colin Reynolds singled home Kutansky. An unearned run in the fifth on a single by John Giusti made it 2-0 after five and a Brian Rzepka single in the seventh made it a three-run lead.
Centenary scored one in the seventh to cut the lead to two before a ninth inning rally. An error scored the first run and a two-out single by Tim Ryan plated the winning two runs.
Valparaiso (13-27, 5-10 Mid-Con) will return to the diamond on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Fort Wayne, Ind. for a 2 p.m. CDT game against IPFW. The Crusaders then will host Indiana at the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind. on Wednesday beginning at 7:05 p.m.