Valparaiso rallied from a 7-1 deficit on Sunday morning, scoring five late runs, but left the tying run on third base as the Crusaders fell to Vermont 7-6 in Bradenton, Fla.
Valpo scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth and added two more in the ninth, but stranded runners at first and third in the final inning.
Dallas Cawiezell (Long Grove, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) had a two-run triple for the Crusaders in the eighth to cut the deficit to four and eventually came home on a ground out.
Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S) had two hits and a sacrifice fly to the warning track in the ninth to cut the deficit to 7-6. Jason Brunelli (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.) also had two hits for the Brown and Gold as well as drove home their first run in the second.
Cawiezell (1-1) started on the hill for the Crusaders and suffered the loss, working four plus innings allowing six runs and eight hits. Henry Kyle (1-1) earned the win for Vermont (2-3), pitching seven innings while allowing just one run and four hits.
Valpo (2-7) will now head to Raliegh, N.C. for a 2 p.m. CDT game against North Carolina State on Tuesday afternoon.