The Valparaiso University baseball team saw its three-game winning streak snapped on Sunday afternoon at Sessions Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., as the Dolphins held the Crusaders scoreless for the final five innings of a 6-3 Jacksonville victory.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (4-5) did not muster up a base runner the first time through the batting order. Jacksonville starting pitcher Casey Kulina found an early rhythm, and the Dolphins gave him immediate run support.
- Jacksonville’s first run came in the bottom of the first, when Nathan Koslowski doubled to lead off the frame. Two batters later, Mike Cassala ripped a two-bagger to plate Koslowski.
- The Dolphins went to work again in the third, and Koslowski was once again at the center of the rally. He cracked a double to drive in Alex Seifert, who had walked to begin the frame. Koslowski later scored on a single by Sam Armstrong, making it 3-0.
- The Crusaders broke through in the fourth, when Giovanni Garbella stroked a run-scoring single and Jayden Eggimann ripped a hit to drive in a pair and tie the game at three.
- Kulina was removed before the end of the inning, and Spencer Stockton was summoned from the bullpen. Stockton proved to be the star of the game, as he flipped 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball while surrendering just one hit.
- That allowed the Dolphins to regain the edge, which occurred in the bottom of the fifth as John Cassala lifted a sacrifice fly.
- The Dolphins tacked on two runs in the eighth, charged to Valpo freshman Grant Hill, who was making his Crusader debut. Koslowski was once again involved, as he singled up the middle for Jacksonville’s final run. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Inside the Game
- Stockton picked up the win in relief, his first victory of the season. Meanwhile, Valpo starter Grant Inman was hit with the defeat to fall to 2-1. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking one.
- This was the first time this season Valpo’s starting pitcher didn’t go five innings.
- Alex Dirienzo came out of the bullpen and worked a clean fifth, before Ellis Foreman came in and heaved two strong frames. Chet Joslyn came in to get the final two outs of the eighth and limit the damage.
- James Stea had two stolen bases and has now swiped seven bags this season.
- No Crusader had a multi-hit performance and the team totaled five hits. Eggimann drove in two runs, while Stea and Hanson each reached base twice.
The Crusaders will remain in the Sunshine State and next take the field on Tuesday at 2 p.m. CT against Pennsylvania in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Live coverage links will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.