Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Shafer Pitches Valpo Past Butler Thursday
Valpo advanced past Butler on Thursday. (Ray Acevedo)
Valpo advanced past Butler on Thursday. (Ray Acevedo)
David Klein had his first multi-hit game of the season.  (Ray Acevedo)
David Klein had his first multi-hit game of the season. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Northfield H.S.) pitched into the ninth inning, striking out seven and yielding just five hits as Valparaiso defeated Butler 4-2 in an elimination game on the Horizon League Tournament on Thursday afternoon at the Pipe Yard in Lorain, Ohio.

Shafer won his league-leading seventh game (7-3) of the season, walking just two in 8.1 innings of work.

“We needed this win and his performance,” head coach Tracy Woodson said afterwards.  “We still have a long way to go though, starting again tomorrow morning.  Shafer had a good slider going that was tough to hit today.”

In the opening two innings, Valpo continued its trend that started in the first round.  The Crusaders had runners on second and third with one out in the opening inning and stranded yet another runner in the second without scoring.

Butler broke through in the third with the first run of the game.  Jason Jamerson led off with a double to left and with two outs Grant Fillipitch singled through the right side.

The Crusaders answered in the bottom of the inning, driving in their first run of the tournament by putting a ball in play.  Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) led off the inning with a single but was forced at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.).  McCormick stole second, his second swipe of the day, and scored on a single by Josh Wallace (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.).

The middle innings turned into a pitcher’s dual between Valpo’s Shafer and Butler’s Matt Sokolowski.  Shafer did not allow a hit in the fourth through seventh innings while Sokolowski retired eight straight following David Klein’s (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East H.S.) single to lead off the fourth before he led off the seventh with his second hit of the day.

Klein’s single in the seventh sparked a late inning rally for the Brown and Gold.  After he was sacrificed to second, he moved to third on a wild pitch.  Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) drew a walk to put runners on the corners.  Pinch hitter Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.) laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt that he beat out for a single, bringing home Klein with the go ahead run.  DeBruin followed with a hit-and-run single that scored Gaedele and put runners back on the corners.  After DeBruin stole second, Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.) was intentionally walked to load the bases.  With Ryan Kruszka on in relief following the DeBruin hit, he unleashed a wild pitch to plate Muhlsteff, increasing Valpo’s lead to 4-1.

Two straight singles and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Schultz in the ninth made it a 4-2 Crusader advantage when Jarad Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) was summoned from the bullpen.  He struck out Alex Montagano before a caught stealing ended the game, giving Miller his 17th save of the season.

Klein and DeBruin each had two hits for the Brown and Gold as Valpo tallied 10 on the afternoon.  Fillipitch and Jamerson each had two of Butler’s (13-41) six hits on the day.

“Klein does the little things,” Woodson said.  “The kid wants to play and we decided to give him the chance today and it paid off.  As a team, we’re still struggling at the plate though, and striking out way too much.”

Valparaiso (28-23) will return to action on Friday morning in another elimination game, beginning at 10 a.m. against an opponent yet to be determined.  If the Crusaders win, they would play again at 2 p.m. CDT.

Tournament Notes: Valpo also faced Butler in the 2008 Horizon League Championships, winning 6-5 in the opening round … Klein’s two hits were his first multi-hit game of the season … Shafer was named the U.S. Army Player of the Game for his efforts. 

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo