February 18, 2023123456789RHE
Win: Lockwood (1-0) 7.020006
Loss: Ireland (0-1) 5.243326
Maka (VALPO) 422010
Reinertson (VALPO) 412401
Leto (KU) 301000
Baker (KU) 111000
Brooks (KU) 401000
Cranford (KU) 401000
Shojinaga (KU) 101110
Baseball Downs Big 12 Foe Kansas on Saturday
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Baseball Downs Big 12 Foe Kansas on Saturday
Connor Lockwood pitched seven shutout innings on Saturday.

Home runs by Jake Skrine (Longmont, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]) and Kade Reinertson [Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community) in the sixth inning helped the Valparaiso University baseball team take control of Saturday’s eventual 11-3 blowout of Big 12 foe Kansas in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was the work of Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) that provided the day’s biggest highlight as the right hander retired the final 16 batters he faced as part of seven shutout innings of two-hit ball while walking none and fanning six.

How It Happened

  • Neither team scored over the first two innings, and it was a “strike him out, throw him out” double play by Lockwood and Reinertson that ended the Kansas second and got the momentum rolling in Valpo’s favor.
  • Lockwood retired the side in order in both the third and fourth as the game remained scoreless. The Beacons manufactured the day’s first run when Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) and Reinertson lashed singles in the fifth before Alex Ryan’s (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) sac bunt set up a sac fly by Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo).  
  • The fireworks began in the top of the sixth as Beacon batters cracked a pair of big flies. It started with two outs and nobody on base when Skrine belted a home run to right to make it 2-0 Valpo. After a single, a pitching change and a walk, Reinertson ripped the big blow of the game, a three-run homer to left to make it 5-0.
  • Lockwood remained locked in, continuing his streak of consecutive batters sent down in the sixth and seventh frames.
  • The Beacons tacked on in the eighth, when Reinertson picked up his fourth RBI on a sac fly before Ryan singled in a run and Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) walked with the bases juiced to extend the gap to eight. Ryan, Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) and Schmack all scored on separate wild pitches to increase the lead to 11-0 as part of a six-run frame that broke the game wide open.
  • Lefty Christian Hack (Oak Forest, Ill. / Tinley Park) came on and worked the final two innings, posting a scoreless eighth before Kansas got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Inside the Game

  • Skrine’s home run was the first of his collegiate career. This is his first season at Valpo after four years at Indiana.
  • Reinertson’s home run was the first of his collegiate career as well. He entered the day with one RBI in his first 23 career games before posting four in Saturday’s contest.  
  • Valpo has already belted three home runs over the first two games of the season.
  • This marks Valpo’s second win over a Big 12 opponent during the Brian Schmack Era and first since beating Oklahoma 11-4 on Feb. 24, 2018.
  • This is Valpo’s first win over a Power-5 conference opponent since knocking off No. 25 Illinois 11-7 on April 17, 2018.
  • This marked Valpo’s highest single-game run total since beating Southern Illinois 11-10 on May 1 of last season.  
  • Reinertson and Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) enjoyed multi-hit outputs as part of the 11-run outpouring.
  • The seven innings marked the longest outing of Lockwood’s career after he went no longer than six as a freshman last season. This was the first outing in his collegiate career where he pitched shutout ball while throwing more than three innings. The six strikeouts outdid his previous career high of four.

Up Next

The rubber match between Valpo (1-1) and Kansas will start at noon on Sunday in Corpus Christi, Texas. The game will be broadcast on FloSports (subscription required) with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.