Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) set the tone right away when the junior right-hander struck out the side in each of the first two innings. He went on to accumulate 12 strikeouts over six frames, the most by any Valpo pitcher in a single game since 2011. Tieman was the winning pitcher in Valpo’s 8-0 shutout of SIU Edwardsville in Friday’s series opener at Simmons Complex.
How It Happened
- The first run of the game came in the third inning, when Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) made SIU Edwardsville starting pitcher David Llorens pay for a pair of walks by pulling a double down the third-base line that drove in a run. Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) had worked an eight-pitch walk to help set up the run-scoring two-bagger, which put Valpo ahead 1-0.
- Tieman started his day by striking out the side in each of the first two innings. No one put the ball in play against him until the third, and by the fourth he had equaled a season high with his eighth strikeout. In the fourth, Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) made an impressive catch on the warning track in left to help Tieman put another zero on the board and preserve a 1-0 lead.
- Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) singled to the opposite field with two outs in the fifth, driving in two – including Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean), who scored from first on the play.
- Valpo added two unearned runs in the top of the sixth, a frame that saw the Cougars commit three errors. That expanded the cushion to four at 5-1.
- The Cougars stranded the bases full in the sixth, a frame that saw Tieman rack up two more punch outs.
- Valpo extended the lead in the seventh thanks to one swing of the bat from Steven Fitzsimmons (Golden Valley, Minn. / Robbinsdale Cooper), who ripped a two-run homer to right to make it 7-0.
- Dawson drilled a towering triple to deep right-center in the eighth, driving in another Valpo run to make it 8-0.
- Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) and Tanner Skidmore (Timberville, Va. / Broadway [Potomac State]) worked 1-2-3 frames in the seventh and eighth respectively out of the Valpo bullpen. Josh Currier (Mokena, Ill. / Lincoln Way Central) came on for the ninth and recorded the final three outs to seal the shutout.
Inside the Game
- Dawson scored his 129th career run, moving into a tie for ninth in program history with Mike Healey (1983-1986). He later legged out his 12th career triple, advancing to a tie for third on Valpo’s all-time list.
- Tieman established a new career high for strikeouts in a single game by fanning 12. His previous personal best was 11 on May 5, 2017 vs. Youngstown State. In addition, this was the most strikeouts by any Valpo pitcher in a single game since Jon Gulbransen had 13 on April 12, 2011 vs. Chicago State.
- Tieman (2-6) also surpassed the 200 innings pitched mark for his career with Friday’s start. He yielded just two hits in his six shutout frames but did issue five walks.
- Fitzsimmons’ long ball was the first of his career, making it the second straight game a Valpo player has hit his first career home run (Jeremy Drudge Tuesday vs. Western Michigan).
- The two through four spots in the Valpo order did significant damage on Friday as Shaikin, Dawson and Billinger had two hits apiece.
- This marked Valpo’s first shutout victory since April 23, 2017, a 9-0 win over Wright State.
- Before Tuesday’s game at Western Michigan, Valpo pitching hadn’t held the opposition to three hits or fewer in a game since 2015. After yielding just three hits against the Broncos, the pitching staff replicated that feat on Friday and has now permitted just three hits in back-to-back games.
- Speaking of back-to-back games, Valpo has won consecutive contests for the first time this season.
Valpo (8-24) and SIU Edwardsville (13-22) will close out the weekend series on Saturday with a scheduled doubleheader at Simmons Complex. The first game will get going at 1 p.m. with the nightcap to follow. Links to live audio and stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.