The Valparaiso University baseball team opened up the 2020 campaign on Saturday with a 9-3 setback to Western Kentucky at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]) had a pair of hits in his Valpo debut to highlight the offense.
How It Happened
- Western Kentucky posted a three spot in the second inning. Justin Carlin lashed a base hit that drove in a run with a second run scoring on an error on the play. A third run crossed the dish on a passed ball.
- Valpo opener Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) permitted three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks in his 1 1/3 innings.
- The Hilltoppers tacked on two in the third on a pair of run-scoring singles, one of which came with two outs. They pushed across another two-out run in the fourth to make it 6-0. Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) pitched in relief of Rhodehouse and left after 2 1/3 innings.
- Western Kentucky added a pair in the fifth to open the lead to eight.
- Valpo notched its first run of the season in the sixth as two walks in the inning set the stage for Troy Jones (Orland Park, Ill. / Carl Sandburg [Triton]) to rip a run-scoring single up the middle to make it 8-1.
- Michael Mommersteeg (St. Thomas, Ont., Canada / St. Joseph’s) and Jacob Rosenkranz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) each tossed scoreless innings out of the Valpo bullpen.
- Valpo notched a pair of ninth-inning runs on sacrifice flies by Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) and Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central).
Inside the Game
- The starting nine featured four players who were making their Valpo debuts – junior college transfers Temple and Jones and freshmen Schmack and Tucker.
- Temple reached base three times with a walk to go along with his pair of hits. Schmack drew two walks in addition to his sac fly in his first collegiate game.
- Rhodehouse (0-1) was hit with the defeat for Valpo, while Michael Hicks (1-0) pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball while striking out eight and walking one to earn the victory for Western Kentucky.
Valpo (0-1) will continue the series at Western Kentucky (1-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast via Facebook Live. Links to live video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.