The Valparaiso University baseball team came to life with five runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, but it was not enough in Wednesday’s 14-8 defeat at Ball State. Senior Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) belted his third home run of the season, a three-run job that highlighted the prosperous eighth inning.
How It Happened
- For the second straight day, Valpo jumped on the board first, this time with a pair of runs in the opening inning. Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) led off with a triple on the second pitch of the game before Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) and Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) both roped RBI singles.
- Ball State immediately responded with two in the bottom of the frame on two hits and two hit batters to create a two-all tie through one inning.
- The Cardinals (16-9) sent nine batters to the plate in the second inning and scored three times on two hits, an error, a walk and two hit batters. They added two more on one hit in the third to up the lead to 7-2.
- Ball State tacked on three in the bottom of the sixth on four hits including a home run by John Ricotta and two triples. Ross Messina belted a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to make it 11-2.
- After back-to-back walks to open the top of the eighth, Shaikin made Ball State pay by unloading a three-run bomb over the left-field fence to cut the lead to 11-5.
- Later in the inning, Patrick Donohue (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Prospect) ripped a two-run double but was cut down trying to move to third. A five-run eighth allowed Valpo to trim the lead to four at 11-7.
- Ball State added three in the bottom of the eighth to up the lead to 14-7.
- Dawson lined a single to center with two outs in the ninth to drive in a run to make it 14-8, which stood as the final score.
Inside the Game
- Shaikin’s home run was his third of the season and the 16th of his collegiate career.
- Dent’s triple was his second of the season and the team’s seventh. He joined Dawson as Valpo players with multiple triples this year.
- Dent extended his hitting streak to eight, while Billinger enjoyed his team-leading eighth multi-hit game of the season. Dawson also collected two hits and two RBIs.
- The Donohue double was his first extra-base hit of the season and the second of his career.
- Mike Pachmayer went three scoreless innings to pick up the win out of the Ball State bullpen.
- Starter Mike Kornacker (Lemont, Ill. / St. Laurence [Purdue]) took the defeat to fall to 0-4 after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits, a walk and four hit batters in two innings.
Missouri Valley Conference play gets going this weekend as Valpo (5-16) ventures to Dallas to clash with perennial baseball powerhouse DBU in a three-game series. The series will open with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch on Friday night. Links to live coverage will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.