The Valparaiso University baseball team scored the first run of the game on Tuesday in West Lafayette, but instate Big Ten foe Purdue followed with five unanswered to capture a 5-1 victory at Alexander Field. Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) and Damon Jorgenson (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) had two hits apiece for Valpo.
How It Happened
- Valpo (5-15) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening inning as Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) laid down a bunt single with two outs, then Billinger ripped a two-out double down the left-field line. The ball was misplayed in left, allowing Dawson to score on an E-7.
- The Boilermakers (8-16) drew even in the bottom of the inning as Skyler Hunter led off with a triple, then crossed the dish on a wild pitch.
- Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove) put zeros on the board in the second and third innings, including a 1-2-3 third. He would have had another goose egg in the fourth, but a two-out error extended the inning and allowed two unearned runs to score. Fricke was lifted after four innings in which he allowed three runs (one earned) on just three hits and walked two while striking out three.
- Catcher Jake Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) shined in the bottom of the sixth as he caught one Purdue runner trying to swipe second and another would-be base stealer trying to take third. That helped Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College]) turn in his second of two scoreless innings.
- The Boilermakers added a run on a Skyler Hunter RBI single in the seventh to extend the lead to 4-1. The hosts upped the lead again in the eighth as Cole McKenzie singled and came around to score on a wild pitch to make it 5-1 Purdue, which stood as the final score.
Inside the Game
- Jorgenson had his fourth multi-hit output of the year.
- Billinger also collected two hits, moving into a tie for the team lead with seven multi-hit performances.
- Billinger’s double was his team-leading fifth of the season after he tied a school record for doubles in a single season a year ago with 23.
- Fricke took the loss for his first decision of the year, while Kyle Wade (2-1) picked up the win after four scoreless innings of relief for Purdue.
Valpo will continue a busy week with a 2 p.m. CT / 3 p.m. ET first pitch on Wednesday at Ball State. Links to live audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.