The Valparaiso University baseball team staked starting pitcher Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) to a sizable lead by virtue of a six-run third inning, and the sophomore right-hander did his part to make that early edge hold up. He turned in a quality start and picked up the win as Valpo downed rival Butler 9-2, capturing the first game of a three-game series in Indianapolis.
How It Happened
- Tieman permitted three singles in the first but wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam. He heaved a 1-2-3 second.
- The Crusaders (7-12) snapped a scoreless tie with a prosperous third inning, when they capitalized on three Butler (16-4) errors. Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) and Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) both had run-scoring singles as part of the noteworthy frame.
- Jayden Eggimann (Mesa, Ariz. / Desert Ridge [Central Arizona / Grand Canyon]), the ninth man to bat in the inning, looped a run-scoring single to shallow left, driving in Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) for the sixth and final run of the third frame.
- After he gained the six-run advantage, Tieman settled into a groove on the mound. He permitted a leadoff hit in the third, but then sent down 11 straight until a two-out single in the sixth.
- After going 14 straight innings without a walk over the last two weeks, Tieman allowed a leadoff base on balls to begin the seventh. That was quickly erased on a 6-3 double play, and Tieman faced the minimum in the seventh as the Crusaders took the 6-0 edge to the eighth.
- Entering the eighth inning neither team had scored since the third, but Valpo tacked on a pair in that frame. Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) ripped a two-run double to left that made it 8-0.
- Tieman left with Valpo still leading 8-0 in the eighth, but two inherited runners scored as Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College] allowed a two-run double to the first man he faced. Tieman finished a strong start having allowed two runs on seven hits and just one walk over 7 1/3 innings. The win allowed him to improve to 3-2 on the year.
- Hammel recorded the final two outs of the eighth, getting out of the frame without further damage.
- A sacrifice fly by Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) accounted for an insurance run in the top of the ninth.
- Alex Dirienzo (Somerset, Pa. / Somerset [Akron]) hit the first two batters of the ninth, but then notched the next three outs in order.
Inside the Game
- Butler starter Connor Mitchell (2-1) was handed his first defeat of the season after allowing six runs (one earned) on seven hits in five frames. Mitchell was named the Big East Pitcher of the Week this past week, marking the second time this season the Crusaders have had their way with a reigning conference pitcher of the week.
- Eight of the nine players in the Valpo lineup had at least one hit. Eggimann, Barczi, Garbella, Zack Leone (Pelham Manor, N.Y. / Fordham Prep [Susquehanna]) and Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) all enjoyed multi-hit performances.
- The Valpo offense continued its successful start to the season as the Crusaders racked up 13 hits.
- Garbella extended his hitting streak to 10 – he’s hit safely in every game he’s played for the Crusaders this season.
- This marked the first time Valpo and Butler have played since 2014 and the first time they’ve gotten together for a three-game series since Butler left the Horizon League in 2012. Valpo is now 79-54-1 all-time against Butler, the most wins the Crusaders have against any one program.
The scheduled second game of the series on Saturday has been postponed due to forecasted snow. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. CT.