Behind one of Kyle Wormington's most effective starts of the season, Valparaiso inched closer to the .500 mark with a 6-1 win over visiting Toledo.
The senior blanked the Rockets through seven innings before an RBI double in the top of the eighth spoiled the shutout bid.
His final line was 7 2/3 innings pitched, five hits, one earned run, no walks and seven strikeouts. Wormington did hit four batters.
"Kyle was outstanding today. He got a lot of first-pitch outs and worked efficiently," head coach Tracy Woodson said.
Wormington (5-7) has surrendered only one earned run in his last 22 2/3 innings pitched.
Chris Manning delivered the first run of the game on an RBI single to right field that scored center fielder Bryce Hara. With a 2-for-4 game, Manning's batting average now sits at a season-high .322.
Valpo added a run in the fourth running with a successful double steal. The throw down to second beat Andrew Bain, but the Crusaders left fielder shimmied his way around the tag. Andrew Bynum raced home from third base on the play once he saw the throw was not going to be cut off.
Freshman Jake Hanson gave the Crusaders a commanding 4-0 lead in the 5th inning with a bases-loaded two-run single up the middle. Spencer Mahoney and Andy Burns both scored on the base hit.
Karch Kowalczyk notched a sac fly before Mahoney put the game out of reach with a run-scoring double down the left field line in the home half of the sixth.
Kowalczyk came on to relieve Wormington in the top of the 8th and recorded the final four outs of the game, lowering his Horizon League-best ERA to 0.47 in the process.
Valpo (25-26, 10-11 HL) will have Wednesday off to prepare for its final conference series of the season. Youngstown State (14-37, 8-13 HL) comes to town for a three-game set beginning Thursday at 1:00 pm CT.
Senior Day will take place Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm.