The Valparaiso University baseball team bounced back from a tough 4-3 loss to Youngstown State in Game 1 to notch a 6-2 victory in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Crusaders coughed up a ninth-inning edge in the opener, but rode a strong pitching performance from Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) to a Game 2 victory.
How It Happened – Game 1
- The Crusaders played from behind when Trey Bridis drilled a home run down the right-field line in the second inning against Mario Losi (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon).
- That Penguin lead evaporated in the bottom of the second, when the Crusaders struck for two against Youngstown State starter Collin Floyd. Chase Dawson singled to left to tie the game, then James Stea (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos [Golden West]) hit an RBI bouncer to third that scored Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel).
- Valpo boosted its lead to 3-1 in the third when Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
- There was no further scoring until the eighth, when Kyle Benyo’s sacrifice fly against Losi cut the lead to 3-2. The Penguins attempted to score the tying run on a single to left by Web Charles, but Anthony Rohan was cut down at the dish as Shaikin’s relay throw to Kapers was in time.
- A hit by pitch and an E-7 allowed the Penguins to mount a threat in the top of the ninth, but then closer Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) retired the next two batters. That set up Lorenzo Arcuri to be the hero, as he tripled to right center, plating two unearned runs and putting the Penguins ahead 4-3.
- Joe King nailed down his sixth save of the year in the bottom of the ninth, allowing Youngstown State to claim its third late, come-from-behind victory over Valpo in the last eight days.
How It Happened – Game 2
- The Crusaders plated two in the third inning of the second game to start the scoring. An RBI grounder to second by Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) got it going, then Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif. / Oaks Christian) singled through the left side to drive in another.
- The Penguins sliced the lead in half on an RBI single by Arcuri in the fourth, then got even as Rohan lifted a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
- Valpo quickly regained its edge against reliever Jesse Slinger in the bottom of the fifth, posting four runs in the frame. Dawson had an RBI triple and Shaikin a two-run single to highlight the inning.
- There was no scoring for the game’s duration as Tieman latched down through the seventh, then Alex Dirienzo (Somerset, Pa. / Somerset [Akron]) followed with two scoreless frames in relief.
Inside the Games
- Rhodehouse was hit with the loss in Game 1, dropping to 3-6 on the season. Joel Hake picked up his first win of the year in relief, improving to 1-5.
- A double by Palace was Valpo’s only extra-base knock in the opener. No Crusader had more than one hit.
- Losi went eight innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits and three walks. He ended up with no decision.
- Tieman established a career high with 11 strikeouts, matching the most of any Crusader in a single game this season, a mark established by Ellis Foreman against Wright State. Tieman picked up the win to improve to 2-1, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits over seven strong innings.
- Slinger was hit with the defeat, yielding three earned runs on two hits in two innings to drop to 1-3. He came in when starter Jeremy Quinlan exited with an injury after 2 2/3 innings of three-hit, two-run ball.
- Palace and Dawson had two hits apiece in the second game. Each man enjoyed his first multi-hit performance since April 23.
- Stea earned his 21st stolen base of the season in Game 1, moving into a five-way tie for fifth in program history in single-season steals.
- The Crusaders are 0-5 in the first game of doubleheaders this season.
The Crusaders will remain in Valparaiso and play a doubleheader against Oakland on Sunday beginning at noon CT at Emory G. Bauer Field. The games were originally scheduled to take place in Roster, Mich., but were moved due to unplayable field conditions at Oakland. The games will be broadcast on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.