The stellar performance of Valpo freshman Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) was recognized by the Horizon League as the league unveiled its weekly awards on Monday.
Rhodehouse was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week, becoming the second Crusader to earn that honor this season. Rhodehouse entered Sunday’s game against first-place UIC in a 6-6 deadlock in the sixth. He delivered four shutout innings of relief to pick up the win for the Crusaders, who prevailed 7-6.
Rhodehouse retired all 12 batters he faced and racked up a career-high seven strikeouts. His four innings and 55 pitches marked season highs. He hadn't gone longer than two innings since a three-inning stint on Feb. 19.
The rookie righty also played a role in Saturday's doubleheader sweep at Milwaukee, nailing down his third save of the season in the 7-4 Game 2 win. Collectively, the Valpo bullpen compiled 12 2/3 scoreless innings over four games to help the Crusaders to an important winning weekend as they took three of four to secure a berth in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament.
Rhodehouse becomes just the second relief pitcher to win the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week award this season and the first since UIC’s Connor Ryan on Feb. 27. He also became the first freshman to receive the distinction this year.
Rhodehouse is the first Valpo relief pitcher to win the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week award since Karch Kowalczyk on May 6, 2013. He also is the first Crusader true freshman to win the award since Bryce Shafer on March 4, 2008. Ellis Foreman did receive the honor as a redshirt freshman in 2014.
The Crusaders will be back in action on Thursday at 3 p.m. CT to begin a three-game series with Milwaukee at Emory G. Bauer Field to conclude the regular season. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.