The Crusaders continued their dominance over Youngstown State with a methodical 6-3 win Saturday at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio.
Valparaiso scored first again in Saturday's tilt via an unearned run. Chris Manning hit a chopper on the infield that stayed in the air long enough for Tanner Vavra to beat the force out at second. The infield hit plated center fielder Bryce Hara for a 1-0 Valpo advantage.
The Crusaders put up a single tally in their half of the second thanks to another chopper, this one off the bat of designated hitter Andrew Bain.
It stayed a 2-0 game until the 6th inning when Valpo extended their lead to three runs. Spencer Mahoney kicked off the frame with a single through the right side and advanced to second base on the play when right fielder Nick Dinello failed to field it cleanly.
A Kyle Schneider sacrifice bunt moved the Valpo shortstop up to third before Billy Cribbs recorded his 12th RBI of the season with a base hit to left field.
Chris DeBoo was perfect through four innings and allowed just three baserunners through six innings.
But Youngstown State eventually got to him in the home half of the 7th. Neil Schroth led off the inning with a base hit that fell just in front of a diving Manning in right field. After Drew Dosch reached on a fielder's choice, Josh White doubled down the left line.
Phil Lipari put the Penguins on the board with a single to left and Valpo saw its lead shrink to 3-1.
Head coach Tracy Woodson called on Zack Walsh with runners on the corners and one out. Walsh issued a five-pitch walk to Nick Dinello, the first batter he faced.
Pinch hitter Devin Higgins made it a one-run game with a sac fly to right.
With runners still on the corners and Kevin Hix at the plate, Dinello took off for second base which drew a throw from Cribbs. As soon as the Valpo catcher fired down to second, Lipari, the runner at third base, dashed home to tie the game 3-3.
Walsh and the Crusaders got out of the inning after Hix followed with a ground out.
After both his runners scored, DeBoo's line was: 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
It didn't stay tied for long as Mahoney led off the top of the 8th inning with a double to left center that just alluded a diving Mike Accardi.
Schneider successfully executed his second sac bunt of the day, advancing Mahoney to third base.
After Cribbs popped out in foul territory for the second out of the inning, Andy Burns delivered in the clutch with an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-3.
Kyle Schneider gave the Crusaders some breathing room with his third hit of the day, a grounder in the six hole. The single scored Vavra, and a throwing error by Lipari allowed John Loeffler to score from second base.
Schneider raised his average to .385 with his 3-for-3 day.
Karch Kowalczyk came on in the 8th inning to shut the door, and tossed two scoreless innings to earn his third save of the season.
Walsh (2-0) swooped in for his second win of 2013.
The Crusaders will go for the series sweep tomorrow at 1:00 pm ET/12:00 pm CT. Freshman Dalton Lundeen (1-0, 2.49) will make his first career Horizon League start opposite Lance Horner (0-1, 3.26).