Freshman starting pitcher Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) had another sparkling outing, and junior outfielder Steven Fitzsimmons (Golden Valley, Minn. / Robinsdale Cooper) had his best day in a college uniform, paving the way for the Valparaiso University baseball team to capture the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader with instate rival Butler at Emory G. Bauer Field. Valpo won the nightcap 5-2 after dropping the opener 6-4.
How It Happened
- Valpo (5-13) played from behind early in Game 1 as Butler scored a pair in the opening inning. However, the hosts climbed back to tie it with single tallies in each of the first two frames, the second thanks to an RBI single by Damon Jorgenson (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeysville]).
- Butler scored three unanswered runs in the middle part of the game, before Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) drilled a two-run homer to left to cut the lead to one at 5-4 in the eighth.
- The Bulldogs (12-9) tacked on an insurance run with a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth and held on to win 6-4.
- In Game 2, Valpo jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the first three frames highlighted by a Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) RBI single.
- Brody McGrath drove in runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, the first of which came on a home run, to make it interesting at 3-2.
- Valpo got RBI triples in both the sixth and the eighth innings to help put the game out of reach. The first came from Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) before Fitzsimmons capped a banner performance with his three-bagger in the eighth.
Inside the Games
- Fitzsimmons had a career-high four hits in the second game including his second career triple and first since his freshman season in 2017.
- Dent’s three-base hit was the first of his career.
- Fields dazzled to the tune of two runs on six hits and 11 strikeouts in six frames to pick up the win in Game 2 and up his record to 2-1. The Valpo bullpen was strong as well, combining for three scoreless frames. Easton Rhodehouse nailed down his first save of the season and the fifth of his career.
- Shaikin’s home run was his second of the season, part of his two-hit opener. Fitzsimmons also doubled in the first game.
Sunday’s series finale will be played at Emory G. Bauer Field starting at 11:30 a.m. CT. Please note the altered start time due to the weather forecast. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.