Valparaiso (2-4, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #7 at North Carolina State (4-2, 0-0 ACC)
Tues., March 4, 2 p.m. CST - Raleigh, N.C.
Game #8 at Duke (10-0, 0-0 ACC)
Wed., March 5, 2 p.m. CST - Durham, N.C.
Game #9 at North Carolina-Greensboro (5-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Thurs., March 6, 1 p.m. CST - Greensboro, N.C.
Games #10-13 at West Virginia
Fri., March 7, 2 p.m. CST - Morgantown, W. Va.
Sat., March 8, 12 p.m. CST (DH) - Morgantown, W. Va.
Sun., March 9, 12 p.m. CST - Morgantown, W. Va.
This Week in Crusader Baseball: Valparaiso continues its season-opening road trip with seven games this week, beginning in North Carolina. The Crusaders will face Atlantic Coast Conference foes North Carolina State and Duke before heading up the road to North Carolina-Greensboro. Valpo then will wrap up the week with a four-game, three-day, set at West Virginia over the weekend.
On the Air: Valpo’s three games in North Carolina will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Nick Kovatch and Dave Schroeder will be providing both the play-by-play and color commentary for the games.
Pitching Rotation: Jon Gulbransen (LHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA) will toe the rubber for Valpo against North Carolina State and Bryce Shafer (RHP, 0-0, 2.45 ERA) will be on the mound for the Crusaders at Duke. The rest of Valpo’s rotation at North Carolina-Greensboro and West Virginia are still to be determined.
Wrapping Up Recent Action: The Crusaders dropped all three games at this weekend’s APSU Invitational. Host Austin Peay rallied for four runs in the ninth to post a 5-4 victory in the opener. On Saturday, Illinois State tripped up Valpo 9-3 and on Sunday the Crusaders dropped a slugfest with Indiana 17-14.
Shafer and Rodeghero Named to All-Tournament Team: Freshman right-hander Bryce Shafer and fifth-year senior outfielder Zach Rodeghero were each named to the APSU All-Tournament Team. Shafer struck out seven and allowed just one unearned run in 7.2 innings of work in the opener against Austin Peay, but recorded a no-decision. Rodeghero was 5-for-14 (.357) with a homerun and two runs batted in over the three games.
Shafer Earns National Honors: Bryce Shafer was named the Insidepitching.com Pitcher of the Week for the Great Lakes Region with his outing on Friday. His one unearned run performance in 7.2 innings against the Governors came in his second collegiate start.
Rodeghero Keeps on Hitting: Zach Rodeghero has hit safely in all six games this season, and extended his hitting streak to 10 straight dating back to the end of the 2007 campaign. He is hitting a team, and Horizon League, leading .520 this year and has four multi-hit performances in six appearances.
DeBruin Goes for Two: Dan DeBruin leads the Horizon League with four doubles already this season. The senior has also hit safely in the last four contests.
Shafer’s Been Dominant in His First Two Starts: Rookie Bryce Shafer has fanned 10 hitters and has an ERA of 2.45 through his first two collegiate starts. In 11.0 innings of work, opponents have hit just .139 against him, best for any Horizon League pitcher thus far this year.
Giusti Climbing Career Assists List: Infielder John Giusti currently ranks seventh all-time in Crusader history with 327 career assists over four years. The senior is 12 assists shy of Todd Kirkpatrick’s sixth place total of 339 and 17 short of Chris Moore’s mark of 344 to move into the top-five all-time.
Bivens Likes the Bases Juiced: Brett Bivens has already been to the plate three times with the bases loaded this season, and has produced a hit on each occasion. Overall, he is 5-for-5 hitting with runners in scoring position and 4-for-4 scoring a runner on third with less than two outs.
Smith Nearly Perfect Thus Far: Derek Smith has not allowed a hit, and walked just one, in 4.1 innings of work in his first action of the year.
Rodeghero Earns First Player of the Week Award: Zach Rodeghero was the Horizon League’s Player of the Week for February 26 after hitting .727 with an on base percentage of .813 for the opening weekend series at Austin Peay. He had three RBIs, scored six times, and had a pair of doubles.
Valpo Tabbed Seventh: The Crusaders were picked to finish seventh in the Horizon League preseason poll, with Wright State being the preseason favorite.