he Valparaiso University baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader at Wright State University’s Nischwitz Stadium on Sunday. A go-ahead, fifth-inning home run by Wright State’s Brandon Giltrow turned the tide in Game 1, an eventual 6-1 victory for the Raiders. Wright State scored early an often in Game 2 and went on to prevail 7-0.
How It Happened – Game 1
- The Crusaders (6-11, 0-3 Horizon) struck first as Giovanni Garbella and Jake Hanson ripped back-to-back two-out doubles in the first inning. For the second consecutive day, Hanson came up with a man in scoring position in the first, and hit the ball hard both times.
- The Raiders (12-6, 3-0) responded in the bottom of the frame as Adrian Marquez drilled one out of the reach of James Stea in center for a triple on the first pitch thrown by Valpo starting pitcher Wes Gordon. Marquez boogied home as JD Orr stroked a single up the middle to even the score.
- After the first-inning double by Hanson, Wright State starter Ryan Weiss sent down the next 11 Crusaders. Valpo broke through in the fifth, when Patrick Donohue singled, but was then caught stealing by Wright State catcher Brandon Giltrow. Following the caught stealing, Jayden Eggimann one-hopped the wall in right center for a two-bagger, but he was left stranded at second.
- The bottom of the Wright State order came through in a big way in the bottom of the fifth. Nick Weybright picked up his second hit of the season with one out, then No. 9 hitter Giltrow unloaded his first home run of the year, a two-run blow to put Wright State ahead 3-1.
- Zach Weatherford laid down a two-out bunt single in the fifth, then advanced all the way to third on a throwing error by the Crusaders. That allowed Weatherford to score an unearned run on a single by Orr to make it 4-1.
- Gordon issued a leadoff walk to Matt Morrow in the sixth that eventually came back to haunt the Crusaders. Gordon departed with men at first and second and nobody out, and Chet Joslyn was summoned from the bullpen. Seth Gray bounced into a run-scoring fielder’s choice, then Weybright singled to place runners at first and second with one away.
- With a right-handed batter due, Valpo head coach Brian Schmack brought in right-hander Luke VanLanen, who induced a sharp line drive to short off the bat of Giltrow. Eggimann made a nice leaping catch, then flipped to second to complete the inning-ending double play.
- The Raiders added an unearned run in the seventh as a two-out error allowed Weatherford to score.
How It Happened – Game 2
- Valpo starter Grant Inman pitched from behind in the count regularly in the early going of Game 2, and issued a pair of walks and three hits in the second inning, leading to three runs. Inman left the game after two innings with Valpo down 3-0.
- Hanson was hit by a pitch with one out in the second for Valpo’s first base runner, but was quickly erased as Wright State starter Zane Collins induced a double play.
- Alex Dirienzo took over for the third inning and allowed a one-out double to Morrow, who eventually came in to score Wright State’s fourth run on a throwing error by the Crusaders.
- The Crusaders committed their second error of the game in the fourth inning, helping the Raiders tack on three more unearned tallies to build the lead to 7-0.
- Valpo mounted its first significant scoring chance of the game in the fifth, when Kapers reached on an error, Donohue ripped a sharp single and Eggimann singled with Kapers receiving the stop sign at third. The Crusaders couldn’t cash in on the bases loaded, one-out opportunity as Collins escaped with back-to-back strikeouts.
- The Crusaders had another chance in the top of the seventh, when singles by Donohue and Chase Dawson and a walk to Dent allowed them to pack the bags with two outs, but Valpo stranded the maximum for the second time in the game.
- Eggimann turned a nifty double play for the second consecutive game when he made a sliding stop, stepped on second and threw to first for a 6-3 twin killing to end the eighth.
- The Valpo bullpen held the Raiders scoreless in the fifth through eighth innings, but the Crusaders couldn’t muster up much offense in the defeat.
Inside the Games
- Gordon (0-3) was hit with the loss in the first game, after allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits in five innings. He issued two walks and fanned three.
- Valpo trotted out six pitchers in Game 1, including freshman Michael Hardtke, who made his collegiate debut by getting the last out of the eighth.
- Weiss (3-0) was the recipient of the win in Game 1, going seven innings and scattering six hits while yielding just one earned run. He struck out three and issued no walks.
- Inman was the losing pitcher in the second game, dropping to 2-2 on the season after allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in two innings.
- Collins (2-2) grabbed the win in Game 2 by hurling six shutout innings. He racked up nine strikeouts, yielded just four hits and did not walk a man.
- Easton Rhodehouse hurled two shutout innings in relief in the second game. He has allowed just one earned run in 13 1/3 innings this season.
- Dawson notched two hits in the second game, his sixth two-hit performance of the season. Donohue also enjoyed a two-hit Game 2, his second multi-hit game of the year. Donohue had started two games this season going into Sunday, but he got the nod in left field for both games of Sunday’s double dip.
The Crusaders will step out of league play and visit Chicago State on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.