March 24, 2024123456789RHE
Southern Illinois00003042X971
Win: Ben Riffe (1-0) 1.010001
Loss: Turzenski (1-1) 1.024021
Denty (VALPO) 412101
Ryan (VALPO) 422000
Maifield (VALPO) 412201
Cole Christman (SIU) 412310
Valpo Outhits SIU for Second Time in Series, Drops Finale in Carbondale
Sunday, March 24, 2024
Valpo Outhits SIU for Second Time in Series, Drops Finale in Carbondale
Kevin Denty ripped his third home run of the season on Sunday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team held the advantage in the hit column for the second time in this weekend’s three-game series, but host Southern Illinois prevailed 9-5 in Sunday’s series finale despite being outhit 10-7 at Itchy Jones Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. The free-base battle plagued the Beacons in this one as Valpo pitching issued nine walks while SIU hurlers walked none.

How It Happened

  • After Valpo starter Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) worked a scoreless first, freshman Kevin Denty (Tinley Park, Ill. / Marian Catholic) started the scoring in the bottom of the second. He yanked one over the right-field fence for a solo shot, representing the team’s first lead of the series.
  • The lead grew in the top of the fifth thanks to one swing of the bat from Chase Maifield (Fox Lake, Ill. / Grant [Augustana]), who belted a two-run jack to right to widen the advantage to 3-0. Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) was along for the ride after doubling to begin the inning.
  • McCluskey did not yield a run through four frames and struck out four, but he walked the first two hitters in the fifth and was lifted. This was his first start since Feb. 23 after he missed time with an injury and came out of the bullpen in his last three outings.
  • McCluskey was eventually charged with two runs based on inherited runners scoring after his exit and SIU got three total in that fifth inning, tying the game. The first four Salukis to come to the plate in that frame all received free passes via three walks and a hit by pitch.
  • Valpo threatened in the sixth after a leadoff Denty double, but he was stranded 90 feet away as the score remained even at three.
  • Jablonski retired the side in order in the sixth with help from a nice snag by first baseman Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) to capture a line drive.
  • Southern Illinois scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 7-3 lead. Two walks and a key error aided the SIU cause.
  • A two-run double in the eighth allowed SIU to boost the lead to 9-3.
  • An RBI grounder by Liam Patton (Barrington, Ill. / Warsaw [Wabash]) plated a Valpo run in the ninth, then Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) lifted a sacrifice fly to account for the game’s final tally.  

Inside the Game

  • Denty’s home run was his third of the season and first since a two-homer game on March 1 at Elon.
  • Maifield’s home run was his second of the season and first since March 1 at Elon. This was his 11th collegiate home run including his four years at Augustana.
  • This marked the first time Valpo batters did not draw a walk since March 3 vs. Binghamton.
  • Denty, Ryan and Maifield all enjoyed multi-hit games.
  • Hannahs extended his on-base streak to 22 games.

Up Next

Valpo (8-14, 0-3 MVC) will head to Nashville, Tenn. to continue the road trip with a midweek matchup with No. 3 Vanderbilt on Tuesday. The game will air on SEC Network Plus. Links to live video and stats will be available on