The Valparaiso University baseball team dropped the middle game of this weekend’s series to DBU by a score of 9-3 on Saturday afternoon. The visiting Patriots, a perennial NCAA contender and Missouri Valley Conference power, cruised to a series-clinching 9-3 win.
How It Happened
- The Patriots (27-13, 9-2 MVC) got out to an early lead when Garrett Wolforth smoked a solo homer to right in the top of the second.
- Valpo (14-23, 4-7 MVC) had a quick response, as Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mt. Carmel) lifted a sacrifice fly to make DBU’s MD Johnson pay for a pair of walks, tying the game at one.
- The 1-1 deadlock lasted until the fourth inning, when DBU’s Kody Funderburk belted a two-run homer to right. Jameson Hannah singled home a run later in the inning, advancing the lead 4-1.
- Valpo starter Trey Ferketic (Laguna Niguel, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) was lifted after four innings. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits and walked one.
- Chet Joslyn (Battle Creek, Mich. / Lakeview) heaved a pair of scoreless frames, then Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College]) contributed a shutout frame in the seventh, keeping it a 4-1 DBU lead.
- The Patriots broke it open with a three-run eighth that was aided by two Valpo errors. That lifted the DBU lead to 7-1.
- Zack Leone (Pelham Manor, N.Y. / Fordham Prep [Susquehanna]) accounted for Valpo’s biggest hit of the day in the bottom of the eighth, ripping a two-out double that was just fair down the right-field line, scoring a pair to make it 7-3. Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) had doubled to start the frame.
- DBU added two more in the ninth, accounting for the game’s final margin.
Inside the Game
- DBU starter MD Johnson went just four innings, issuing five walks and one hit. He received no decision, while Kragen Kechely (4-0) was the winner with four innings of relief in which he allowed two runs on two hits. Ferketic was hit with the loss to fall to 4-3.
- Dawson had two of Valpo’s four hits. Before Dawson’s double to lead off the eighth, a Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) single through the left side in the fourth was the only Crusader hit of the day.
- The Crusaders did have runners on base throughout the day as they drew eight walks. They stranded nine on base.
The Crusaders and Patriots will complete the three-game set on Sunday at Emory G. Bauer Field. The first pitch is slated for noon as Wes Gordon takes the mound for the Crusaders. The game will be broadcast on 95.1 FM Valparaiso with Ben Ariano doing the play-by-play. Live stats will also be available courtesy of StatBroadcast.