The Valpo baseball team erased a three-run deficit thanks to nine fourth-inning tallies in a 12-4 win over Chicago State Tuesday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field. Freshman Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) earned the victory, the first in a Crusader uniform, after striking out four in five innings of work. Senior Scott Jerge (Munster, Ind./Munster) took care of the final four frames on the bump to collect his first career save.
Chicago State starting pitcher Dillion Engle kept the Brown and Gold off the scoreboard in his abbreviated tenure on the mound. Valpo managed just one hit in three innings versus the left-hander. Reliever Josh Perkins took over in the fourth when the Crusader offense decided to tee off against the righty.
Shea Molitor (Plymouth, Minn./West Lutheran [Des Moines Area CC]) registered two run-scoring hits during the barrage. He singled home Josh Clark (Granada Hills, Calif./Hillcrest Christian [Riverside City]) for the first Valpo run. Some 20 minutes later, he ripped an RBI double down the left-field line that allowed Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) to trot in from second base. In between Molitor's knocks, Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif./Chatsworth), Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind./Mt. Carmel), Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), Lodden, and Clark all secured RBIs. Perkins was unable to retire any of the nine Valpo batters he faced.
The Brown and Gold sent 13 batters to the dish. It marked the second dominant offensive inning in as many days for Valpo. The Crusaders amassed ten runs in the opening frame of yesterday's 17-6 defeat of Purdue North Central.
Valpo tacked on two runs in the fifth to coast to a 12-4 win.
Molitor eclipsed the 40-RBI mark Tuesday. He now leads all Horizon League sluggers with 41 runs batted in. Dawson drove in a season-high three runs with a 3-for-5 game. Luke Syens (Burlington, Wis./Burlington [Madison]) and Patrick Donohue (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) were both 1-for-1 in reserve roles.
Valpo (19-18, 10-5 Horizon) will get back to Horizon League action this weekend when UIC (17-22, 9-6 Horizon) comes to town. The Flames reside one game back of the Crusaders for second place in the league standings. The three-game series begins Friday afternoon at 3 pm CT at Emory G. Bauer Field. Links to the radio broadcast and live stats are posted at ValpoAthietics.com.