March 31, 2015123456789RHE
Valparaiso0012000104113
Ball State Cardinals20030134X13181
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: BROCKHOUSE (2-0) 4.141106
Loss: Foreman (2-2) 3.175532
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Mahoney (VALPO) 412010
Palace (VALPO) 402210
Johnson (VALPO) 322010
SPAULDING (BALL) 313310
RINDFLEISCH (BALL) 523201
TYLER (BALL) 413110
Baseball Strands 13 in Loss to Ball State
Nolan Lodden collected his 19th and 20th runs batted in of the season Tuesday. (Avery Davis)


Baseball Strands 13 in Loss to Ball State
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Valparaiso knocked out eleven hits and drew four walks, but batted just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position in a 13-4 loss to Ball State at Ball Diamond in Muncie on Tuesday. 

Jarett Rindfleisch put the home team on top 2-0 in the bottom of the first. Valpo starting pitcher Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) nearly danced his way out of a first-inning jam. After the first two Cardinals reached base, Foreman induced a 6-4-3 double play - the team's 24th of the season - for the first two outs. Rindfleisch skied a foul pop-up behind the plate early in his at-bat that went uncorralled before sending his fourth home run of the season over the left-field wall. 

Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) and the Crusaders broke into the run column in the top of the third. Mark Johnson (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) and Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) slapped back-to-back hits to right field to open the frame. With one away, Palace sent a Trevor Henderson offering back up the box and into center that allowed Johnson to score. Henderson used a pair of strikeouts to work out and strand Mahoney at third. 

Valpo temporarily commandeered a lead in its half of the fourth. Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) sliced an opposite-field, two-out double into the left-field corner that scored Mahoney and Jeff Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson). Edwards reached on a bunt single before swiping second base, while Mahoney collected his 22nd walk of the year. Lodden obtained his 19th and 20th runs batted in with his two-bagger.

The Brown and Gold advantage didn't last long, however. 

Ball State's Sean Kennedy lined a double down the left-field line that plated the tying tally. Kennedy came into score on the very next at-bat when Ryan Spaulding clocked a two-run single to left.

The Cardinals opened their lead to 9-3 before Valpo recorded its next run. Ball State managed four runs off left-handed reliever Connor Kaucic (Chardon, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) in the middle frames. 

Palace drove in his second run of the day in the eighth after Johnson led the inning off with a rope down the right-field line for a double. Palace placed a single into left that brought the Crusader center fielder in from second to make it a 9-4 game.

Ball State used seven runs in its final two offensive innings to seal its 19th win of the season. Colin Brockhouse threw 4 1/3 innings in relief of Henderson to earn the win. Foreman was saddled with his second loss of 2015.

Mahoney (2-3, R), Palace (2-4, 2 RBI), and Johnson (2-3, 2 R) all enjoyed two-hit games.

Valpo struck out 12 times and stranded 13 runners on base in the defeat. The Brown and Gold have left double-digit runners on in five of their previous seven tilts.

The Crusaders (9-14, 5-3 Horizon) will turn around and prepare for a three-game series in Milwaukee this weekend versus the Panthers (12-8, 3-5 Horizon). First pitch from Henry Aaron Field in Thursday's series opener is slated for 3 pm CT. Stay tuned to ValpoAthletics.com and follow @ValpoBaseball1 for any weather-related updates. Links to live stats for all three games will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.