Valparaiso batted around twice in game two of Saturday’s rain-delayed doubleheader, as the offense exploded for 20 runs as the Crusaders defeated the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 20-3 to earn a split of the twinbill. After waiting nearly four hours to begin play on the afternoon, the host Panthers defeated Valpo 13-5 in the opener in Milwaukee, Wis.
With a 2-0 lead after two thanks to a Jon Gulbransen (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) single in the second, the Crusaders sent 13 hitters to the plate in the third scoring nine times. Jason Brunelli (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.), who had eight runs batted in over two games, hit a three-run homer and Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) had a two-run single in the inning. Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) also added a two-run double to extend his hitting streak to 24 straight games after he also had a single in the opener.
Valpo added two more runs in the fifth, then batted around sending 12 to the plate in the seventh while scoring seven more times to take a 20-0 lead. Josh Wallace (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine H.S.) had the big blow in the inning with a three-run homer.
Rodeghero finished the game 4-for-5 with four runs scored and three runs batted in while raising his season average to .453. Brunelli had three hits and five RBIs to help pace the 17-hit attack of the Crusaders while Wallace drove in four runs. Valpo was also aided by five Milwaukee errors.
Milwaukee (16-29, 7-12 Horizon League) scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh off of John Snelten (Ingleside, Ill./Antioch H.S.), who got the win (2-2) working 6.1 innings while allowing just six hits and two walks. He struck out four. Cuyler Franzke (3-1) suffered the loss, pitching just two innings and allowing seven earned runs.
In the opener, Valpo allowed 10 unearned runs, including seven in the fourth. Trailing 1-0, Brunelli was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the third to plate John Giusti (Coventry, R.I./Coventry H.S.) and tie the game. Giust went 3-for-3 in the opener for Valpo. Jesse Hart then put the Panthers back on top in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer.
Hart’s second blast of the game in the fourth, a two-run shot, and a three-run homerun by Doug Dekoning put Valpo behind 9-1. Valpo tried to rally in the seventh, as Rodeghero had a RBI single and Brunelli scored two with a double. An error made it 9-5, but that would be as close as the Crusaders would get. Three more unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth by Milwaukee spoiled any comeback thoughts of Valpo.
Andy Hetebrueg (4-6) picked up the win for the Panthers, working 6.2 innings and striking out six. Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Northfield H.S.) suffered the loss (2-4) for Valpo, allowing eight runs, only two of which were earned, and five hits in 3.2 innings on the mound.
Valparaiso (16-28, 7-9) will next head to Iowa City, Iowa on Tuesday evening to battle the University of Iowa. First pitch against the Hawkeyes is set for 6 p.m.