Valparaiso wrapped up its three-game weekend series on Saturday afternoon, falling 8-7 to Southeast Missouri State at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The Crusaders rallied from a 5-0 deficit to take a 6-5 lead, but the Redhawks scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to go in front for good.
Southeast Missouri State (11-8) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, scoring on a two-out single. The Redhawks added to the lead with four runs in the fifth, beginning with a leadoff homer by Louie Hasletine. A double and two-run single plated the other three runs in the frame.
Valpo rallied in the sixth, tying the game with just three hits while taking advantage of a pair of errors. David Klein (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East H.S.) put the Crusaders on the scoreboard with a three-run double. He eventually scored on a balk, and Valpo’s fifth run was plated courtesy of a SEMO error.
The Crusaders took the lead 6-5 in the seventh on a RBI single by Paul Heinkel (Fond du Lac, Wis./Winnebago Lutheran Academy).
The hosts answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to retake the lead, keyed by a two-run single by Casey Jones. Valpo tried to fight back again, pulling within a run in the ninth on a leadoff homerun by Klein, but left the tying run on first base when the game ended.
Heinkel and Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) each had three hits as part of Valpo’s 12-hit attack, while Klein had two more while driving home four runs. Michael Adamson led SEMO with three RBIs.
Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) started for Valpo and worked five innings but got a no decision. Steve Godawa (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) suffered the loss (0-3) in relief for the Crusaders. Nick Thomas (3-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen for the Redhawks while Shae Simmons picked up his second save of the year.
Valparaiso (5-15) will return to the diamond on Friday evening to open up Horizon League play with the first of a three-game weekend series in Dayton, Ohio. First pitch of the series opener against Wright State is set for 5:30 p.m. CDT.