The Valparaiso University baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader against Missouri State on Saturday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field, falling 14-2 in eight innings in the opener before incurring a 9-4 setback in Game 2. Missouri State lifted six home runs including three from Dakota Kotowski on a warm day where 20-mile-per-hour winds were a major factor and the ball was carrying well.
How It Happened – Game 1
- A solo home run in the top of the first was the only scoring through the first four innings of Saturday’s opening game, which started out as a pitchers’ duel between Missouri State’s Adam Link and Valpo’s Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville).
- The Bears added to the lead with two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Valpo scratched out a sixth-inning run on an RBI double by Adam Brauch (Waukee, Iowa / Dowling Catholic) to get on the board, but the Bears put the game out of reach with three in the seventh and seven in the eighth.
- In the bottom of the eighth, Angel DiFederico (New Haven, Ind. / New Haven) lifted a sacrifice fly to account for the final run of the game, which was halted after eight due to the 10-run rule.
Inside the Game – Game 1
- Valpo pounded out 12 hits in the contest, but Missouri State produced 16. The Beacons got two hits apiece from Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central), Jeremy Drudge (Plymouth, Ind. / Plymouth), Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central), Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) and Adam Brauch (Waukee, Iowa / Dowling Catholic).
- Only two of Valpo’s 12 hits went for extra bases, while all four home runs in the game belonged to the Bears.
- Fields struck out seven, lifting his Missouri Valley Conference leading strikeout total to 82. He has struck out seven or more in nine of his 10 starts this season. Fields is up to 232 career strikeouts, eighth in program history. The righty took the loss on Friday, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks over five innings.
How It Happened – Game 2
- Neither team scored over the first three innings, but both squads jumped on the board in the fourth. The Bears used a homer and RBI double in the top of the inning to leap out to a 2-0 lead, but the Beacons bounced back by slugging two home runs in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) launched the first to slice the lead in half, then Brady Renfro’s (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) two-run job served as a go-ahead blast.
- The lead lasted until the sixth, when Katowski hit a go-ahead two-run bomb of his own. Valpo got even in the last of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Tucker that tied the game at four, but the guests scored three times in the top of the seventh and once more in the eighth to pull away for the win.
Inside the Game – Game 2
- Valpo starter Jake Miller (Chester, N.Y. / Don Bosco Prep) allowed four runs on five hits while walking three and striking out nine in six frames. He received no decision in what proved to be a game of the bullpens. Nathan Chasey (Ames, Iowa / Gilbert [Indian Hills CC]) had a rare rough outing in relief and took the defeat. Jacob Rosenrkanz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth.
- Hannahs finished with four hits in the doubleheader including a 2-for-4 showing in Game 2.
- Renfro’s home run was his team-leading seventh of the season and the 11th of his collegiate career.
- Thurston ripped his first collegiate home run.
Valpo (13-21, 2-6) will close out the series with Missouri State on Sunday at noon at Emory G. Bauer Field, weather permitting. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with links to live video and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.