The Valparaiso University baseball team suffered its third straight one-run loss on Sunday afternoon in Wichita, Kan. Travis Young, the same player who lashed a walk-off single to beat the Crusaders on Friday night, struck again. This time he snapped a 3-3 tie in the ninth with a one-out walk-off single to right to give the Shockers a 4-3 victory, their third straight one-run win in the series.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (9-16) delivered the first blow of the game in the opening inning. James Stea (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Oaks Christian) provided a leadoff single, Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced on a double steal. Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill. / Aurora Christian) hit a bouncer to short and Jacob was caught in a run down between second and third. He was eventually tagged out for the second out of the inning, but Stea scored to make it 1-0 Valpo.
- The Shockers (14-13) leveled the score by virtue of a two-out rally in the bottom of the second. A line drive to Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mt. Carmel) at second base started a double play, putting the Crusaders one out away from ending the inning with nobody on base. However, No. 9 hitter Jordan Boyer eventually stroked a run-scoring single to left to tie the game at one. Wichita State settled for the one run as they stranded a pair in the inning.
- Jake Larson (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) replaced Michael Mommersteeg (St. Thomas, Ont., Canada / St. Joseph’s) on the hill to begin the bottom of the third, as Valpo went to the bullpen early. Greyson Jenista belted a go-ahead homer to right, giving Wichita State a 2-1 edge.
- The Crusaders had a quality chance to get back to even right away in the fourth as Hanson led off with a two-bagger, but it went to waste as the Crusaders stranded two runners in the frame.
- Valpo mounted a threat in the top of the sixth inning as Hanson walked, Kapers singled through the left side and the runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. However, the runners were left stranded.
- The Crusaders broke through with a pair of runs in the seventh, as a dropped third strike and walk created a scoring chance. Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif. / Oaks Christian) grounded a game-tying single up the middle to score Stea. Hanson followed by belting a go-ahead double into the left-field corner. Jacob crossed the plate, but Palace was thrown out trying to score from first. The Crusaders inched ahead 3-2.
- The Shockers quickly got back to even as Young ripped a run-scoring single to left against Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas / Stony Point) in the bottom of the seventh. That scored Boyer, who had started the rally with a one-out hit.
- Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) was summoned from the bullpen with the tall task of trying to work out of a jam as the Shockers had men at the corners with one away. He faced only one batter and did just that, inducing a ground ball to Palace at first who stepped on the bag and threw home for a 3-2, inning-ending double play. The score remained 3-3 through seven.
- Valpo had a man at second with one away in the top of the eighth but didn’t score. The inning ended on a deep fly ball crushed to left-center by Stea, but Alex Jackson made a sliding grab on the warning track to take away an extra-base knock.
- The Crusaders had runners at first and second with nobody out in the top of the ninth, but the Shockers turned a 5-4-3 triple play.
- The Shockers walked off with the win on a single to right by Young in the bottom of the ninth. A single, hit batter, passed ball and intentional walk had loaded the bags.
Inside the Game
- Stea’s three-hit output was his second of the season. Sunday’s game marked his seventh multiple-hit performance, making him the fifth Crusader with at least seven multi-hit games this year.
- Hanson’s RBIs marked his 10th and 11th of the season. He became the third Crusader with double-figure RBIs, joining Palace and Jacob. Palace extended his team lead with his 19th run driven in.
- Stea swiped two bases, boosting his season total to 14. Wright State’s Zach Weatherford leads the Horizon League with 15.
- Mommersteeg received no decision after allowing one run (earned) on three hits and one walk in two innings.
- Wichita State starting pitcher Cody Tyler hurled five frames and yielded one run (earned) on four hits and one walk while striking out four.
- Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) was hit with the loss to drop to 2-3, while Wichita State’s Clayton McGinness accomplished the rare feat of earning the win and pitching a full inning while throwing only one pitch. He delivered the heave that turned into Wichita State’s first triple play in 15 years.
- The Crusaders lost three one-run games in the series. They are now 0-8 in one-run games this season.
- Chase Dawson was sidelined due to an illness for the third straight game.
The Crusaders will play their 26th straight road game on Tuesday at Illinois State in Normal, Ill. The game begins at 4:30 p.m. CT. and will be broadcast on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.