Five Valparaiso pitchers combined on a three hitter and the Crusader offense took advantage of 10 Judson walks and four errors as the Brown and Gold defeated the Eagles 13-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field.
Jon Gulbransen (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) went five innings to get the win (2-5), striking out five and walking four while surrendering just two fourth inning singles. Judson did not register another hit until a one-out single in the ninth.
“Gulbransen pitched okay but did not have his command,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. He was good enough to get guys out and our bullpen came in and pitched well.
Valpo scored multiple runs in every other inning in the victory. Jeff Greco (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) put the Crusaders on the board in the opening inning with a bases loaded ground out. A fielder’s choice and another ground out followed and Valpo held a 3-0 lead after one.
In the third, a bases loaded error plated two Crusaders, and Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) scored on a wild pitch. The Eagles’ third error of the inning allowed a fourth run to score, giving Valpo 7-0 lead.
Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) added a two-run double in the fifth and Greco plated another with a sacrifice fly. Justin Frane’s (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) RBI single made it 11-0.
Joe Lazar (Traverse City, Mich./Central H.S.) added an RBI single in the seventh and Frane followed with another sacrifice fly to complete the scoring for the Crusaders.
Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.) and John Giusti (Coventry, R.I./Coventry H.S.) paced Valpo’s 10-hit attack with two hits each while Frane drove in three runs. Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) singled in the opening inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Valpo used 22 players in the contest.
“It was good to see other guys than DeBruin and Rodeghero contribute today,” Woodson said. “It is nice to get everyone into the game and have them do something.”
Starter Alcibiades Gonzales (2-6) suffered the loss for Judson (14-21), working three innings and allowing seven runs, four of which were earned, on just three hits. He walked six and struck out one.
Valparaiso (11-24) will continue the homestand this weekend with a key three-game series with instate rival Butler. First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field.
“This may be the biggest series of the year for us this season,” said Woodson.