The Valparaiso University baseball team couldn’t overcome a nine-run Oakland fourth inning on Saturday afternoon in an eventual 19-9 defeat at Emory G. Bauer Field. It was a day of big innings as the Grizzlies set the tone with four runs in the top of the first, while the Crusaders had a six-run fifth to chip into the large hole created by the nine-run fourth. Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) had three hits to lead Valpo.
How It Happened
- The Grizzlies (6-26, 4-8 Horizon) jumped on the board when a single, E-6, walk and passed ball allowed Tyler Janish to cross the plate in the first. Valpo starter Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) issued another walk, then Matt Dileo ripped a bases-clearing double that made it 4-0.
- The Crusaders (13-20, 4-8 Horizon) got one of those runs back when Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) drilled a solo homer to center in the second. Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) followed with a one-out double and the Crusaders had a chance for more, but he was stranded at second.
- Valpo continued to chip away in the third when Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) lashed a single to left, driving in Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge), who had singled to start the inning. Again Valpo had an opportunity for more with two on and one away, but the Crusaders settled for one.
- The Grizzlies changed the game in a hurry in the fourth inning, when they drilled back-to-back-to-back home runs on three consecutive pitches. Janish started the power surge with a grand slam against Inman, spelling the end of the day for the Valpo starter. Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas / Stony Point) entered and served up long balls on each of the first two pitches he fired, one to Zach Sterry and one to Tyler Pagano.
- The Grizzlies added three more runs before the inning mercifully came to an end with Valpo down 13-2 after a nine-run frame.
- Valpo’s bats came back to life in the fifth inning when Jacob doubled, Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill. / Aurora Christian) reached on an error and Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) earned an RBI single. Shaikin walked to fill the bases with nobody out, but back-to-back strikeouts followed. Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) stroked a two-run single to right center, then Jayden Eggimann (Mesa, Ariz. / Desert Ridge [Central Arizona / Grand Canyon]) clubbed a two-run double to make it 13-6. Jacob squirted a single through the left side to drive in two more and make it 13-8, causing Oakland’s co-head coaches to remove starter Jake Lee after 4 2/3, one out shy of qualifying for the victory. The Crusaders scored six times in the frame.
- Two walks and an error handed the Grizzlies a bases-loaded nobody out chance in the sixth. Alex Dirienzo (Somerset, Pa. / Somerset [Akron]) relieved Michael Hardtke (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Capistrano Valley) and did a strong job limiting the damage. The Grizzlies got a run on a double-play bouncer, then Dirienzo induced another ground ball to end the frame.
- The Grizzlies got three more in the seventh against Dirienzo, two of which came on Sterry’s second home run of the game.
- Chet Joslyn (Battle Creek, Mich. / Lakeview) sent down Oakland in order in the eighth and notched back-to-back strikeouts to begin the top of the ninth. However, he then issued a walk and allowed three straight hits, allowing the Grizzlies to build their lead to eight at 19-8, which stood as the final score.
Inside The Game
- Inman was hit with the defeat after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on six hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Cole Gibson earned the win for Oakland, working 2/3 of an inning and allowing no runs. Inman drops to 3-4, while Gibson’s decision was his first.
- Jacob notched his fourth three-hit game of the season and his 11th multi-hit output.
- Shaikin notched two hits and reached safely for the 17th straight game. He now owns Valpo’s longest on-base streak of the season.
- Hanson ripped two hits and has multiple hits in four of his last six.
- Garbella started all three games in the series with Palace out of the lineup and responded well, posting a .417 average with a double, homer and two RBIs. Jacob was the only Crusader with a more prosperous offensive series, as he went 7-for-14 with three doubles, two RBIs and six runs scored.
The Crusaders will step out of league play as they continue the homestand on Tuesday afternoon against Chicago State. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. The game can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.