After waiting out a three-hour rain delay, the Valparaiso University baseball team was on the wrong end of a 13-3 score at Illinois State on Saturday night at Duffy Bass Field in Normal. The Redbirds used an eight-run second inning to set the tone and eventually invoked the 10-run rule in the bottom of the eighth. Junior Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) drove in all three Valpo runs and launched his eighth home run of the season, moving into a tie for the team lead.
How It Happened
- After Valpo gained an early edge in the series opener, it was Illinois State (19-27, 6-11 MVC) that struck in the opening inning on Saturday. Jake McCaw rolled a seeing-eye single through the right side with two down in the bottom of the first, allowing Tyson Hays to cross the dish and put the Redbirds in front 1-0.
- Valpo (17-28, 6-11) threatened in the top of the second with a pair of two-out singles, but left runners at the corners. In the bottom of the second, a two-run double by John Rave expanded the lead to 3-0 before Owen Miller made it a four-run affair with a run-scoring single. A Valpo throwing error scored another run and extended the inning. Collin Braithwaite singled in another run, and eventually Illinois State fully capitalized on the extended inning as Noah Sadler ripped a three-run homer to make it 9-0.
- The top of Valpo’s order got the team on the board in the third, as Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) and Shaikin clubbed consecutive doubles to make it 9-1.
- Valpo starting pitcher Trey Ferketic (Laguna Niguel, Calif. / JSerra [UC San Diego]) exited after two innings as the Crusaders went to the bullpen for the first time in the series by summoning Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College]) for the third.
- Hammel did his job, producing two scoreless innings including a 1-2-3 fourth. That trend continued when Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) entered the game and hurled two shutout frames. A single by Miller in the sixth was the first Illinois State hit since the Sadler home run.
- Illinois State scored three times in the seventh and had the potential winning run (10-run rule) at third when Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) charged in to make a nice play, recovering after a slight juggle to end the inning and extend the game.
- However, the Redbirds used two walks and two hits to produce a run in the bottom of the eighth, ending the game by 10-run rule.
Inside the Game
- Shaikin’s home run was his eighth of the season and allowed him to move back into a tie for the team lead for home runs. The long ball was the 12th of his Valpo career.
- Dawson doubled for the second straight day and increased his season total to nine. Shaikin had a pair of extra-base hits as he delivered his 12th double of the year, also the second straight day he ripped a two-bagger.
- Shaikin, who drove in all three Valpo runs, recorded his 17th multi-hit game of the season and his fifth game this year with three RBIs or more.
- Rhodehouse has not allowed an earned run in five appearances in conference play.
- Hammel has worked 10 straight scoreless innings over his last five appearances.
- Ferketic (4-5) was hit with the loss after allowing nine runs (four earned) on 10 hits in two innings. Brent Headrick (3-6) picked up the win after yielding three runs on six hits and striking out six over six frames.
- This was the first time on record Valpo has lost by the 10-run rule. The Horizon League does not have a 10-run rule, but the rule does exist in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The series concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT with Wes Gordon getting the ball for the Crusaders. Links to audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.