The Valparaiso University baseball team came up short against Big Ten foe Purdue on Wednesday night in West Lafayette as the Boilermakers edged the Crusaders 4-1 at Alexander Field. Purdue left-handed pitcher Ryan Beard dominated unlike any opposing pitcher Valpo has seen this season, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh until the Crusaders finally scratched out consecutive hits to end his day.
How It Happened
- The Boilermakers (11-10) struck first with an unearned tally in the opening inning. Leadoff man Harry Shipley legged out an infield single, then moved to second on a wild throw by the Valpo shortstop. That miscue put Shipley in position to cross the dish on a sharp two-out single by Jacson McGowan.
- Purdue scratched out another unearned run in the third as McGowan walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. That spelled the end of the day for starting pitcher Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s]), as Hayden Kissee (Cumberland, Ind. / Greenfield Central [Kaskaskia]) was summoned from the bullpen. The senior right hander worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam without further damage.
- McGowan crushed a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the fifth, doubling the Purdue lead to 4-0. The fifth inning did feature a defensive highlight as third baseman Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) made a diving stop and threw to first for the third out.
- Purdue loaded the bases with one away in the sixth, but Chase Dawson (Chesterton / Andrean) made an impressive play and started a 4-6-3 double play.
- Valpo’s first hit of the game against Beard came with two outs in the seventh as Jacob ripped a double down the right-field line. The second hit came on the very next batter as Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mt. Carmel) grounded one sharply through the left side, allowing Jacob to speed home.
- Ross Learnard pitched the ninth inning for Purdue and nailed down his second save. A one-out hit followed by a walk allowed the Crusaders to bring the tying run to the plate, but Learnard recorded the final two outs to secure the win for the Boilermakers.
Inside the Game
- The Crusaders (7-14) were vying for their first-ever three-game winning streak in the head-to-head series with Purdue. They beat the Boilermakers each of the last two seasons.
- Beard (1-1) picked up the win for Purdue, allowing one run on two hits while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings.
- Hammel (1-1) was hit with the loss after yielding two runs (none earned) on two hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings.
- Jacob, Kapers, Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) and Zack Leone (Pelham Manor, N.Y. / Fordham Prep [Susquehanna]) were the only Crusaders with hits. Jacob’s double was the lone Valpo extra-base knock of the day.
The Crusaders will embark on their first season in the Missouri Valley Conference on Friday as they start a three-game series with Bradley at 3 p.m. CT at Emory G. Bauer Field. All three games in the series will be broadcast on 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Live audio and stats will both be available online, and @ValpoBaseball will have live tweets.