Junior Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill./Aurora Christian) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the 7th with an RBI single, but Dallas Baptist answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half to steal a 2-1 win over the Crusader baseball team Thursday evening at Horner Field in Texas.
Trevor Haas (Mt. Prospect, Ill./Hersey) and DBU starter Colin Poche traded zeros for the first six innings.
Valpo had a promising opportunity to go ahead in the fifth when Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind./Andrean) lined a two-out single to right field with Shea Molitor (Plymouth, Wis./West Lutheran [Des Moines Area CC]) in scoring position. Molitor got the green light rounding third base, but Justin Wall's throw to the plate beat Molitor, keeping it a 0-0 ballgame.
The Crusaders' strike in the seventh all started with two outs. Molitor and Jeff Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) strung together back-to-back two-out singles before Hanson broke through with a run-scoring knock off fresh reliever MD Johnson.
Haas retired the leadoff man in the seventh, but Wall quickly took the wind out of Valpo's sails when he corked a triple that rolled to the wall in right-center. With first base open, Haas worked around Jameson Hannah, putting the center fielder on first base with one out.
Head coach Brian Schmack called on senior Bryce Yoder (Spencerville, Ind./Eastside) to get the Crusaders out of the precarious spot. Instead, Yoder's first two deliveries resulted in a run-scoring single and a hit-by-pitch. Things started looking up for Yoder and the Crusaders when the side-winder induced a pop out in foul territory for the second out. However, Yoder's first offering to Luke Stratman strayed too far inside and caught the DBU infielder on the leg. The HBP hurt Valpo more than Stratman as it forced in Hannah, the runner from third.
The Brown and Gold went down in order in the eighth, but had the leadoff man reach in the ninth. Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) watched four straight balls go by from closer Seth Elledge, but he was wiped out on a 4-6-3 twin-killing off the bat of Dan Delaney (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks [Fresno State]).
Haas was brilliant in his first start of 2016. Both runs were credited to him, but he scattered five hits over 6 1/3 innings. Haas rung up five batters and walked a pair. He summoned 10 ground ball outs.
Ryan Fritze (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury [Des Moines Area CC]) registered 1 1/3 scoreless innings out of the pen. The Patriots managed a harmless single off the right-hander.
Valpo (3-10) and Dallas Baptist (10-3) will continue its series Friday at 6:30 pm at Horner Field. Dalton Lundeen (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood) will oppose Darick Hall (2-0, 2.55) on the hill. Links to the broadcast and live stats are available at ValpoAthletics.com.