The Valparaiso University baseball team enjoyed a strong day on the mound from pitchers Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) and Nathan Chasey (Ames, Iowa / Gilbert [Indian Hills CC]), while the offense got clutch hits from Matt Olive (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) and Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) in a 5-2 victory over Murray State at Emory G. Bauer Field on Monday.
How It Happened
- Nowak started the day with a 1-2-3 opening inning, but Murray State got on the board when Taylor Howell ripped a solo shot down the left-field line in the second.
- Nowak struck out six straight batters, striking out the side in both the fourth and fifth frames.
- The Beacons manufactured a run in the fourth, when Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) stroked a leadoff single, went to third on a Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) base knock and crossed the dish on an Olive sacrifice fly to make it 1-1.
- Murray State regained the lead but settled for one run while stranding two in the top of the sixth.
- Valpo went right back in front in the bottom of the inning, when Olive ripped a two-run single to make it 3-2.
- Chasey entered the game on the mound and put up a zero in the top of the seventh, then Schmack came through with a two-out single to right center to drive in a pair in the bottom of the seventh, expanding the lead to 5-2.
- Chasey induced a double play to work around an error in the top of the eighth, then eventually heaved another zero in the ninth to preserve the triumph.
Inside the Game
- Nowak’s nine strikeouts surpassed his previous career high of seven, which came in his last outing on March 28 vs. Milwaukee.
- This marked the first start of Nowak’s Valpo career as his previous 25 appearances came out of the bullpen.
- Nowak, who went six innings and allowed two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out nine, earned the win to improve to 3-0.
- Chasey logged three scoreless innings while permitting just one hit to nail down his second save this season and the third of his career.
- Over his last four outings, Nowak has thrown 11 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out 18.
- No Valpo player had a multi-hit output, but eight different Beacons lashed out a base hit.
- Schmack’s two RBIs lifted his season total to a team-high 20, while Olive drove in three to bring his RBI total to five in just nine games.
- Brady Nowicki (Big Bend, Wis. / Mukwonago [Indian Hills CC]) made his season debut after missing time due to an injury. He got the start at third base.
- Valpo’s only extra-base knock of the day was a double by Kade Reinertson (Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community).
- Renfro extended his on-base streak to 21, becoming the first Valpo player with an on-base streak of more than 20 games since Sam Shaikin’s 23 gamer in 2017.
Valpo (9-12, 1-5 MVC) and Milwaukee will face off at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in Franklin, Wis. The game will air on ESPN+.