After dropping the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader 2-1 in 10 innings, Valparaiso fought back in the night cap to earn a split with Butler, downing the Bulldogs 7-2 in game two at Emory G. Bauer Field.
Valpo started the offense early in game two as Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.) led off the opening inning with a double and moved to third when Justin Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) reached on a fielding error. With one out, Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda H.S.) singled into left, putting the Crusaders on top 2-0. Two batters later, Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Delton Kellogg H.S.) tripled home Robinson, giving the Brown and Gold a three run advantage.
Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.), who had his 15-game hitting streak snapped in the opener, led of the third with his seventh triple of the season, tying Ken Manning (1989) and Rob Hadrick (1997) for most three-baggers in a season in school history. Gaedele scored one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Robinson.
Butler (18-24, 8-11 Horizon) cut the lead in half in the fifth. A two out single by Andrew Eckhardt followed by a double by Brian Padove pulled the Bulldogs within 4-2 at the halfway mark.
The Crusaders immediately answered, scoring two more times in the fifth. Robinson singled home Frane with one out and scored himself on a two out single by Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru H.S.).
Valpo tacked on one more insurance run in the sixth as Andrew Bain (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor H.S.) led of the inning with a single and moved to third on Muhlsteff’s 20th double of the season, one shy of the school’s single season record. A wild pitch then scored Bain with the game’s final run.
Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) went the distance to earn the win (5-1) for Valpo, scattering just six hits and allowing the two runs. He struck out six and walked just two. Jared Earle suffered the loss (3-2) for Butler, allowing six runs, only two of which were earned, and eight hits in five innings of work.
Robinson led the Crusaders with four runs batted in while Scoby and Muhlsteff also had two hits each as Valpo pounded out 10 for the game.
The opener was a pitcher’s dual between Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Northfield H.S.) and Mike Hernandez. Shafer went nine strong innings while Hernandez went all 10 as the Bulldogs earned the extra innings victory.
Butler manufactured the game’s first run in the second inning. Corey Moylan and Kyle Schultz led off with singles and moved up 90 feet following a sacrifice bunt. Michael Letzter scored Moylan on a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Bulldogs the lead.
Shafer worked out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the sixth, ending the inning with a strikeout and a fly out before Valpo tied the game in the bottom of the inning. McCormick led off with a walk and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Muhlsteff, one of three hits for the senior in the game. Scoby then scored McCormick on a sacrifice fly to right, tying the game at one.
Shafer went nine innings, allowing just five hits and three walks while striking out 11 before giving way to Gaedele in the 10th. Kyle Waggoner led off the inning with a walk and moved up on a single by Grant Fillipitch. Another single by Moylan plated the Bulldogs’ winning run as the Crusaders went scoreless in the bottom of the inning against Hernandez.
Shafer’s 11 strikeouts give him 225 for his career, moving him past Tom Starck into fourth place on Valpo’s career list.
Hernandez allowed just eight hits and one walk in the 10-inning win (4-3), striking out six. Gaedele suffered the loss (0-1) in relief.
Muhlsteff led the Crusaders with three of the team’s eight hits while Moylan had a three-hit effort for the Bulldogs.
Valparaiso (19-27, 7-7) will remain at Emory G. Bauer Field on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders host Northern Illinois. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.