On Saturday, the Valparaiso baseball team celebrated the six seniors that would be graduating later this month and looked to send them off with a win, but Oakland pitching had other plans as the Crusaders were blanked in a lightning-quick nine-inning game, falling by a final score of 1-0.
Dalton Lundeen (Streamwood, Ill/Streamwood) did all he could to provide the win for the Crusaders, pitching a complete game, but a throwing error in the top of the seventh eventually led to the only run of the game crossing the plate for the Golden Grizzlies on a Jared Theisen single to center. Along with throwing all nine innings, Lundeen only gave up five hits and struck out eight batters in all.
Lundeen fell to 3-5 on the year as he took the loss, while on the other side of the field, Tim Koons threw an equally as impressive game for Oakland (8-27, 3-14 Horizon). Koons improved to 2-2 on the year as he also went all nine innings, striking out seven on his way to the win.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Crusaders could only muster three hits on the afternoon. Valpo’s best scoring chance came in the bottom half of the seventh, as the Crusaders put runners on first and third with only one out, but a strikeout and a flyout ended that threat. Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill/Lyons Township), Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill/La Salle-Peru) and Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill./Aurora Christian) were the only Valpo players to tally hits on the day.
Valparaiso (17-24, 7-10 Horizon) will finish up the home schedule for the 2014 season tomorrow in the rubber match against Oakland. First pitch is scheduled for noon, with Gametracker and radio links on Valpoathletics.com.