Trey Ganns hit three home runs, Northern Kentucky scored multiple runs in six of the nine innings and the Valparaiso University baseball team couldn’t slow down a powerful Norse lineup in an 18-7 loss on a windy Sunday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Crusaders (12-17, 3-6 Horizon) still took two of three in the series after Saturday’s doubleheader sweep of the Norse (11-9, 6-3 Horizon).
How It Happened
- The Norse struck right away as Ganns delivered a two-run blow to left center in the top of the first against Valpo starter Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll).
- The Valpo offense had an answer in the bottom of the frame, as Jake Hanson lashed a run-scoring single, then Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) belted a two-run big fly that sailed over the left-field fence, a go-ahead blow against Northern Kentucky starter Pat Kelley that put Valpo up 3-2 after an eventful first inning.
- Ganns put the Norse right back on top by lifting a grand slam to center in the top of the third. In only the third inning, he already had two home runs and six runs batted in.
- The third Northern Kentucky home run of the day came in the fourth as T.J. Alas drilled one to right center, a two-run blow that made it 8-3 and spelled the end of the day for Inman.
- The Norse broke it wide open with a five-run fifth that included a three-run homer by Jake Richmond that expanded the lead to 13-3.
- The Crusaders continued Sunday’s slugfest in the sixth as Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) cracked a three-run big fly that took a bite out of the deficit and made it 13-6.
- Ganns slugged his third home run of the day in the eighth, a two-run knock to make it 15-6.
- Alas secured a multi-homer game of his own with a three-run blow in the ninth that made it 18-6. The Crusaders got a run in the bottom of the inning on an infield pop fly by pinch hitter Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) that the wind wreaked havoc on, causing it to drop for a run-scoring infield single.
Inside The Game
- Inman took the loss and fell to 3-3 after allowing eight earned runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
- Kelley was the winning pitcher, upping his record to 3-1 after yielding six earned runs on nine hits in six frames while recording five strikeouts and issuing no walks.
- Barczi’s home run was the first of his career, while Shaikin’s blow was his second of the season and the second of his career.
- Northern Kentucky’s Travis Rowland worked a scoreless seventh. The two teams combined for nine pitchers, and he was the only one who did not allow at least one earned run.
- James Stea (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos [Golden West]), Barczi, Hanson and Shaikin had two hits apiece for the Crusaders. Stea joined Nate Palace (11) as the only Crusaders with 10 or more multi-hit games this season.
- Hanson extended his hitting streak to 12, while Hanson (16) and Shaikin (13) both kept on-base streaks intact.
- Shaikin’s three RBIs established a new career hit.
- Barczi and Hanson both went 6-for-13 (.462) with five runs scored apiece in the series. Barczi drove in five, while Hanson knocked in three.
The Crusaders will head to Ball State on Tuesday to take on the Cardinals in a game that begins at 2 p.m. CT. Links to live coverage will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.