The Valparaiso University baseball team dropped the series opener with future Missouri Valley Conference foe Murray State 8-2 on Friday afternoon in Murray, Ky. The Racers put up crooked numbers in the third and fourth innings, while the Beacons were held scoreless until the sixth. Valpo’s Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) permitted just one run on one hit and one walk over three solid innings of relief.
How It Happened
- Valpo starting pitcher Trent Turzenski (Burlington, Wis. / Burlington) worked around a pair of two-out walks to put up a zero in the first, but permitted one unearned run in the bottom of the second – a frame that included two walks, an error and a passed ball. He did induce a double play and notch an inning-ending strikeout in the second to keep the damage minimal.
- After going down in order in each of the first two innings, Valpo got its first baserunner when Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) singled with one away in the third, but he was stranded at second as Murray State held on to the 1-0 edge.
- The Valpo infield turned a double play for the second straight inning in the third, this time a 6-2-3 twin killing. However, the Racers scored three two-out runs in the inning, upping the advantage to 4-0.
- Murray State added two more in the fourth including a solo home run, then pushed across another in the fifth to make it 7-0.
- The Beacons got on the board by scoring twice in the top of the sixth. Alex Ryan singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch, while Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) drove in a run with a fielder’s choice bouncer.
- Valpo turned to the bullpen in the sixth and McCluskey worked a quick frame, sending down the Racers in order.
- Murray State added a run on an inside-the-park home run in the seventh, an inning that included a sprawling catch by Schmack in left to prevent further damage and keep it 8-2. That stood as the final score.
- Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) and Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) each reached base twice, Hannahs via two walks and Maka via a hit and a hit by pitch.
Valpo (5-8) and Murray State will continue the four-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. The games will air on ESPN+. Links to live video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.