Valparaiso saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday afternoon in the Crusaders' home finale as the Brown and Gold dropped an 8-3 decision to Northern Illinois at Emory G. Bauer Field.
The contest also marked Valpo's final non-conference game of the 2006 campaign.
Northern Illinois took advantage of six hit batsmen, three walks, and two errors on the way to the victory.
The Huskies found the scoreboard in the opening inning on a sacrifice fly by Jesse Seykora. Two walks to lead off the second led to three more runs for Northern Illinois as the visitors had a four-run lead after two.
A fielding error by Scott Simon allowed Jon Rupno (Green Bay, Wis./Pulaski H.S.) to score from second as Valpo broke up the shutout in the third inning.
The three-run deficit was short lived as the Huskies bounced right back with two more in the fourth to open up a 6-1 advantage. Colin Reynolds (Crookston, Minn./Central H.S.) grounded a ball to shortstop in the fifth that was misplayed allowing Kevin Perri (South Bend, Ind./Adams H.S.) and Michael Arensdorff (Park View, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) to score what would be the final runs of the game for the Crusaders.
Northern Illinois added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Jesse Seykora to close out the scoring.
Trevor Feeney (4-4) went seven strong innings for Northern Illinois (24-28) for the victory, allowing just one earned run and six hits while striking out six. Mike Stankiewicz (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West H.S.) suffered the loss (0-4) for the Crusaders, allowing six runs, five earned, and six hits in 3.1 innings.
Pat Minogue finished the game 3-for-3 for the Huskies while Seykora drove in three runs. Perri and Arensdorff each had two hits for the Brown and Gold.
Valparaiso (17-30, 9-10 Mid-Con) will close out the 2006 regular season this weekend with a four-game set in Macomb, Ill. against Western Illinois. The Crusaders need to win three out of four to earn a spot in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. Doubleheaders both Friday and Saturday begin at noon with the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) on Friday.