The Valparaiso University baseball team received a home run by Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) as part of a multi-hit game, but host Notre Dame scored six runs in the first three frames and added six in the eighth en route to a 12-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. The Fighting Irish entered the game ranked No. 6 by D1Baseball and in the top 10 in all six polls, including No. 1 by Baseball America and Perfect Game.
How It Happened
- The Fighting Irish struck first in the opening inning as a hit, two walks and a sacrifice fly led to two runs. Two doubles in the second helped the Irish get into the Valpo bullpen and plate two more, bolstering the advantage to 4-0.
- Valpo mounted its first scoring chance of the day in the third as the inning started in a promising manner with consecutive hits by Kade Reinertson (Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community) and Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central). A sacrifice bunt by Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) advanced the runners, but Notre Dame went to the bullpen and wiggled out of the inning unscathed.
- The Fighting Irish got two more in the sixth, this time in a two-run homer, to make it 6-0. Reliever Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) locked down for the remainder of his outing, holding the Irish off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings, his final two frames of work. He did not issue a walk over 3 2/3 innings and permitted just the two runs while scattering six hits.
- Sophomore Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) continued the solid start to the day for the Beacon bullpen in the sixth by retiring the side in order. Jablonski posted another zero in the seventh as Notre Dame stranded a pair.
- Valpo got on the board in the eighth as Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) belted a solo shot to center to make it 6-1.
- After four straight scoreless innings from the Valpo relief corps, the Fighting Irish scored for the first time since the third in the bottom of the eighth. They plated six to widen the gap to 12-1.
Inside the Game
- The home run by Schmack marked his second of the season and the fourth of his collegiate career.
- Schmack had two hits, his fifth multi-hit output of 2022, the second most on the squad.
- Thurston extended his hitting streak to 10. He became the first Beacon this season with a double-figure hitting streak, after two players (Schmack and Hannahs) did so a year ago.
- Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo), who entered the day as the Missouri Valley Conference’s leading hitter, had a rare hitless day at the plate and saw his 10-game on-base streak come to an end.
Valpo (5-7) will begin a weekend series at Murray State on Friday at 3 p.m. in Murray, Ky. The game will air on ESPN+, and links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.