Valparaiso (17-31, 6-10 Mid-Con)
Game #49 vs. Indiana (17-33, 6-21 Big Ten)
Tue., May 15, 3 p.m. CDT - Emory G. Bauer Field
Game #50 vs. Purdue (21-27, 11-16 Big Ten)
Wed., May 16, 3 p.m. CDT - Emory G. Bauer Field
This Week in Crusader Baseball: Valparaiso will step out of Mid-Continent Conference play for the final time during the 2007 regular season as the Crusaders entertain a pair of Big Ten foes at Emory G. Bauer Field this week. Indiana will pay a visit to Valparaiso on Tuesday while Purdue comes to town on Wednesday.
On the Air: Both the game against Indiana and the game against Purdue will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Pitching Rotation: Right-hander Harvey Yergin (4-6, 4.77 ERA) will take the mound for the Crusaders on Tuesday against Indiana. Wednesday against the Boilermakers, left-hander Ranko Ivetic will be handed the ball to start the contest.
Wrapping Up Last Week's Action: The Crusaders dropped three of four Mid-Con games at Oakland last weekend. A five-run seventh inning allowed the Crusaders to rally for a 10-7 victory in the series opener. The Golden Grizzlies came back and swept Saturday's twin bill 7-1 and 4-0 before winning the finale on Sunday 6-4.
Scouting Indiana: The Hoosiers come to town looking to snap a four-game losing skid after being swept in a Big Ten series at Illinois last weekend. Andrew Means leads the team hitting .374 while Evan Crawford comes into the contest at .310 with 12 doubles. Jon Fixler has driven home 35 runs for Indiana. Tyler Tufts leads the pitching staff with a 3-8 record and a 3.78 earned run average.
Scouting Purdue: The Boilermakers enter the week having dropped two straight before Tuesday's contest with Western Kentucky. Purdue split a series against Iowa this past weekend. Ryne White leads the team hitting .449 with seven homers and 44 RBIs while Spencer Ingaldson is hitting .319. Matt Bischoff is the team's ace on the hill, with a 3-1 mark and a 2.15 ERA.
Arensdorff Sets Mid-Con and School's Hit Record: With his infield single on May 1 against Butler, Michael Arensdorff broke both Valparaiso's and the Mid-Continent Conference's career hits record with his 252nd base hit wearing the Brown and Gold. Arensdorff passed Mark Pedersen (1999-2002) for the top spot on both charts. He now has 264 for his career.
Yergin Sets Valpo's Innings Pitched Record: Harvey Yergin's complete game victory against Western Illinois gave the senior 294.2 innings over his four-year career, passing Tim Holmes for Valpo's career leader in that category. Yergin tossed another 5.2 innings last week against Oakland, surpassing the 300 inning mark with 300.1 all-time.
Arensdorff Closing in on Runs Record as Well: Michael Arensdorff has crossed the plate 35 times already this season, giving him 150 runs scored in his career, passing Rob Hadrick for second all-time. The school record is 158 set by Mark Pedersen.
Arensdorff Earns Academic All-District Honors: Fifth-year senior Michael Arensdorff has been named to the Academic All-District V First Team by ESPN The Magazine and voted on by CoSIDA. Arensdorff has a 3.47 grade point average majoring in elementary education.
Arensdorff Hangs Around in Mid-Con Batting Race: Michael Arensdorff's .347 batting average on the year ranks fifth in the Mid-Continent Conference this season. The fifth-year senior trails is just eight points behind league leader Andrew Stafford heading into the final week of the regular season.
Senior Day Set for Saturday against Southern Utah: Valparaiso will honor its 2007 senior class on Saturday afternoon as part of Senior Day activities against Southern Utah. Nick Mazzone, Brian Rzepka, Jeff Rickert, Ryan Manthei, Colin Reynolds, Josh Piazza, Michael Arensdorff, and Harvey Yergin will all be taking part in their final regular season games this weekend wearing the Brown and Gold.
Valpo Protects Late Leads: When the Crusaders have taken a lead into the late innings, they have made them stand up. Valpo is 14-1 when leading after six innings this season and a perfect 9-0 when leading after seven or eight frames.
Cawiezell Turns into Valpo's Stopper: Dallas Cawiezell has eight career saves, tied for fourth most in a Brown and Gold uniform during an individual career with Chip Pettit. He has five this year, tied for third in the Mid-Con.
Mazzone Among Mid-Con's Best: Nick Mazzone is fifth in the Mid-Continent Conference this season with a 3.57 earned run average. The Crusader senior also leads Valpo's pitching staff allowing opponents to hit just .247 against him on the season, also fourth best in the Mid-Con.
Brunelli Likes Mid-Con Pitching: Jason Brunelli has enjoyed hitting against conference foes this season, posting a .390 batting average against the Mid-Con. In addition to three homers, the redshirt-junior has added a .510 on base average and a .610 slugging percentage in 13 league games.
Rzepka Holds Team's RBI Lead: Brian Rzepka's 28 runs batted in on the season lead the Valpo attack. Twice the senior has driven in four runs in a contest on his way to seven multi-RBI games this season.
Rickert Has Longest Current Hitting Streak: Jeff Rickert has hit safely in each of his last five games, the longest current streak on the team.
Yergin Cracks Top-10 in Strikeouts: With his two strikeouts at Oakland, Harvey Yergin now has 180 for his career, matching Sean Galiher for ninth place all-time in a Brown and Gold uniform. Yergin is six Ks away from tying Chip Pettit for eighth place on the career list.
Arensdorff Third in Career Doubles: Michael Arensdorff is also moving up Valpo's career two-bagger list with 55 career doubles. The fifth-year senior already has 15 doubles this season to lead the team and the Mid-Con in that category. His next double will tie him with Mark Pedersen for second all-time with 56 career doubles and Arensdorff is three two-baggers shy of Marc Boggio's career mark of 58.
Mid-Con Tournament Draws Near: With just one weekend (four games) remaining in the regular season, Valparaiso is looking to secure a spot in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament for the first time since 2003. Currently the Crusaders are in three-way tie for third place in the league standings, with the top for teams qualifying for Macomb, Ill. May 24-26. Valpo will need to win at least two games against Southern Utah this weekend to extend its season.
Win at Oral Roberts First Ever: With Valpo's win at Oral Roberts, the Crusaders won for the first time ever in Tulsa, Okla. The Brown and Gold also ended the Golden Eagles' 40-game home conference winning streak dating back to the 2002 campaign, and beat Oral Roberts for the first time as a team since 2003.
Rickert Named Mid-Con Player of the Week: Fifth-year senior Jeff Rickert was named the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week on April 16 after hitting safely in four of five games. The Crusader infielder hit .500 while drawing seven walks (.672 on base percentage) and scoring six runs in games against Indiana State and North Dakota State.
Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in sixth place in the Mid-Continent Conference preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches. Oral Roberts was picked to win the league crown followed by Western Illinois and Oakland. Southern Utah was tabbed fourth and Centenary fifth.