The Valpo baseball team dropped a 3-1 affair to the Fighting Irish Wednesday night at Frank Eck Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana. Josh Clark (Granada Hills, Calif./Hillcrest Christian [Riverside City]), Shea Molitor (Plymouth, Minn./West Lutheran [Des Moines Area CC}, Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind./Mt. Carmel), and Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) were responsible for the four Crusader hits.
Notre Dame starter Michael Hearne was extremely efficient in a winning effort. The left-hander required just 71 pitches to reach the ninth inning. The Crusaders were limited to three singles until the ninth when Lodden jumped on a fastball for an opposite-field double to provide some potential drama. Molitor avoided the shutout when he plated Lodden with an RBI ground out to third. Valpo was unable to bring the tying run to the plate, though.
Cavan Biggio provided the big hit for Notre Dame in the third inning as he hooked a two-run double down the left-field line. ND's 3-0 lead stood until the final frame.
Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) took the hard-luck loss for the Brown and Gold. He allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings. Bryce Yoder (Spencerville, Ind./Eastside) and Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) were masterful out of the bullpen for Valpo. Inman fired three scoreless innings while Yoder retired both Irish batters he faced.
Valpo (11-16, 5-3 Horizon) will head to Michigan this weekend for a three-game set with Oakland (13-11, 4-2 Horizon). First pitch in Friday's opener at the Oakland Baseball Field is slated for 3:00 pm ET/2:00 pm CT. Links to live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.