After waiting out a rain delay for more than three-and-a-half hours, Valparaiso needed ten innings to defeat Chicago State in a pitchers' dual 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field. Game two was suspended with Valpo leading 2-0 after three innings and will be completed prior to the regularly scheduled doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.
A classic pitchers' dual between Valpo's Harvey Yergin (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Acadmey) and Chicago State's Jonathan Kohn, with just two earned runs allowed between the two.
The Crusaders scored first in the opening inning with two outs. Kevin Kutansky (Schererville, Ind./Munster H.S.) singled and went to second on a walk to Colin Reynolds (Crookston, Minn./Central H.S.). Ryan Manthei (Kenosha, Wis./Tremper H.S.) beat out an infield hit and Kutansky came around to score an unearned run when the first basemen muffed the throw which was late.
The Cougars tied the game in the fourth was Roc Latino walked, went to second on a ground out, and came around to score on a wild pitch when the throw to third sailed into leftfield.
Both pitchers worked quickly through the middle innings, with Yergin allowing just one hit from the third through the eighth. Kohn was nearly as good, retiring 11 straight Valpo hitters between the fourth and eighth before Kevin Perri (South Bend, Ind./Adams H.S.) doubled to right with one out. One out later, Kutansky doubled Perri home to give the Brown and Gold a one run lead heading into the ninth.
Luke Grow led off the ninth with a double to right for the Cougars and went to third on a sacrifice bunt. A Latino single tied the game and forced extra innings. Latino was the only Cougar to record two hits in the game.
In the tenth, John Giusti (Coventry, R.I./Coventry H.S.) led off with a single and Perri followed with a fly ball to center that was dropped by the centerfielder. Michael Arensdorff (Park View, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) singled to left to load the bases and Kutansky delivered the game-winning single to right-center that dropped in between the two outfielders.
Yergin went the distance throwing all ten innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run. He struck out ten while walking just two and throwing 115 pitches as he improved to 2-7 on the year. Kohn also went the distance, allowing 11 hits and one earned run while striking out six and walking just one. With the loss he falls to 1-10 on the season.
Kutansky finished the day going 3-for-5 with two runs batted in while Arensdorff , Giusti, and Ryan Manthei (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest H.S.) each registering two hits for the Brown and Gold.
With game two began just before 6:30 p.m., play lasted just 44 minutes before darkness fell on the cool, crisp evening. Valpo jumped in front with two runs on just one hit in the second inning. Reynolds led off with a walk and advanced to third on a double to right-center off the bat of Josh Piazza (Niles, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.). A RBI ground out by Brian Rzepka (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.) made it 1-0 and the Crusaders added a unearned run when Jon Rupno (Green Bay, Wis./Pulaski H.S.) was safe on a throwing error by the shortstop.
Nick Mazzone (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) was solid on the mound for Valpo, allowing just two hits while striking out four in the first three innings. Luis Reynoso struck out three while allowing just the one hit for the Cougars.
Play is scheduled to resume on Sunday morning with the top of the fourth inning beginning at 9 a.m. Following the suspended game, Senior Day activities will take place before the regular scheduled doubleheader between Valparaiso (14-29, 6-10 Mid-Con) and Chicago State (4-38, 0-13).