Xavier H.S.) allowed just one run in 6.1 innings of work on the mound but Fairfield came through with a two-out single in the bottom
of the ninth to defeat Valparaiso 2-1 on Sunday
morning at Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter
McCormick scattered just five
hits and walked just one while striking out eight for the Brown and Gold, but
Valpo hitters managed just four hits against the Stags’ Rob Gariano.
“McCormick was outstanding
for us today,” head coach Tracy Woodson
said. “It was a very good game and we
made some plays. Unfortunately they had
a really good pitcher throwing against us today.”
The game was scoreless through
the first six innings with limited threats.
Valpo put runners on the corners with two outs in the fourth, but a
strikeout ended the scoring chance. An
inning later, another runner reached third with two outs, but was unable to
Fairfield (3-2) got a one-out triple in the second but
McCormick got a strikeout and flyout to end the threat, and then worked out of
a two-on, two-out situation in the fourth.
Valpo took the lead in the
seventh as Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
H.S.) reached on an error and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru
H.S.). Paul Heinkel (Fond du Lac,
Wis./Winnebago Lutheran Academy) singled home
Muhlsteff with two outs to give the Crusaders the lead.
Anthony Jajjar, who went
3-for-4 for the Stags, led off the bottom of the seventh with a homer to tie
the game at one. The game stayed that
way until the bottom of the ninth when Marco Garamella and Chris Horning had
back-to-back singles with one out. A
groundout advanced them to second and third, and with two outs Justin Nusblatt
delivered the winning single.
Gariano went eight innings
without a decision for Fairfield,
walking three and striking out six while giving up the unearned run. Mark Bordonaro (2-0) earned the win in
(Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) suffered the loss (0-2)
for Valpo, coming in to start the eighth inning.
Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) had one of the four
Crusader hits, extending his hitting streak to 14 straight games dating back to
Valparaiso (3-9) will head to Columbia,
S.C. on Tuesday evening to begin a two-game
midweek series with South Carolina. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CST.