The Valparaiso University baseball team fell in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday against an Indiana State team that is receiving votes nationally. The Sycamores won the opener 8-0 before Valpo senior Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) drove in four in the nightcap in an 11-5 defeat at Bob Warn Field.
How It Happened – Game 1
- Indiana State jumped out to the early lead as CJ Huntley blooped a two-out single to shallow right to drive in a pair.
- The Sycamores (27-7, 4-2) added a run in the third as Roby Enriquez doubled and scored on a base hit by Romero Harris. That expanded the lead to 3-0.
- Valpo starting pitcher Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) settled in to put zeros on the board in the fourth and fifth innings, but then he exited after issuing a walk and a hit batter to the first two batters of the sixth.
- That sixth inning turned into a four-run frame for the Sycamores, who built up a 7-0 lead. It included a two-run triple by Luke Fegen. Indiana State tacked on one more in the eighth.
- Indiana State’s Colin Liberatore threw a complete-game two-hitter to pick up the victory and improve to 2-0.
Inside the Game – Game 1
- Dawson reached base three times in a game where the rest of the team combined to reach twice. In addition to cracking one of Valpo’s two hits, Dawson drew two of the team’s three walks.
- Fields took the defeat after allowing five runs on four walks and five hits in five innings. He saw his record fall to 2-4.
- This marked Valpo’s seventh doubleheader of the season. There has only been one weekend that did not involve a weather-related schedule change, and that was the series played in Dallas against DBU.
How It Happened – Game 2
- The first three Valpo batters of the game had base hits, allowing Valpo to exceed its Game 1 hit total before the first out was recorded. The third hit in that string was a triple that Dawson yanked into the right field corner, plating a pair. Later in the inning, the Valpo senior scampered home on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 Valpo.
- Indiana State got two back right away in the bottom of the first with both runs scoring on sacrifice flies. Valpo pitcher Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove) did limit the damage as the Sycamores stranded a runner at third.
- Ellison Hanna connected on a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth to put Indiana State in front 4-3. Both runs were unearned as the inning had been extended by an error.
- Valpo wrestled the lead back in the fifth inning on another quality swing by Dawson. He cracked a two-run double down the right-field line, driving in a pair to give Valpo a 5-4 edge.
- Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) did a nice job limiting the damage when he inherited a first-and-third, no out jam in the bottom of the fifth. He induced a double play followed by a pop fly, holding the Sycamores to a single tally that tied the game at five.
- Indiana State scored four in the sixth to regain the lead as a go-ahead bloop single by Clay Dungan was followed by a Jarrod Watkins three-run homer.
- Indiana State added two in the bottom of the eighth to make it 11-5, which proved to be the final score.
Inside the Game – Game 2
- Valpo has jumped ahead in the first inning in seven of the team’s last 11 games.
- Dawson’s triple was his third of the season and the 11th of his career. That allowed him to move into a tie for seventh in program history for career triples. He now has the most triples by a Valpo player since Kyle Gaedele (2009-2011) finished his career with 12.
- Dawson scored his team-leading 20th run of the season. He has scored 126 runs in his career, one shy of climbing into the Top 10 in program history.
- Dawson’s four RBIs bumped his season total to 18, while he also ripped his fifth double of the year.
- Shaikin enjoyed a three-hit showing, his second of the season and first since March 3 at UNCW.
Valpo (6-24, 1-8) will return home on Tuesday to host Western Michigan in a game that begins at 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field. Links to live audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.