Sophomore Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic)'s first-inning grand slam highlighted a 10-run opening frame as the Valpo baseball team cruised to a 17-6 victory over Purdue North Central Monday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field. Josh Clark (Granada Hills, Calif./Hillcrest Christian [Riverside City]) and Shea Molitor (Plymouth, Minn./West Lutheran [Des Moines Area CC]) also went yard in the Crusaders' highest outpouring of runs all season.
After PNC starter Deven Smith retired Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) to begin the bottom of the first, the next eleven Crusaders reached base in a lopsided frame. Garbella's grand slam to right field opened the scoring for the Brown and Gold. Lodden followed with a two-run double before Clark jacked a three-run dinger that made it 10-1.
Valpo tacked on single tallies in the second and third innings before expanding the lead to 13 runs in the fourth. Molitor collected two of his four runs batted in in that fourth with a double down the right-field line that plated Luke Syens (Burlington, Wis./Burlington [Madison]) and Lodden.
Freshman Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) earned his first collegiate win as he turned in four innings of two-run ball. The right-hander did not walk a batter and struck out one Panther.
Molitor ended things in the home half of the eighth when he drilled a two-run shot to left.
Valpo (18-18) won the run-rule-shortened contest, 17-6. Every Crusader that appeared in the game recorded a hit. Ten different Valpo players crossed home plate.
The Crusaders will return to the diamond tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon when they host Chicago State. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm CT. Links to the radio broadcast and live stats are available at ValpoAthletics.com.