Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Slide By Penguins in Series Opener
Andrew Bain touches home plate for what turned out to be the game-winning run in the 6th inning Thursday. The left fielder had a 2-for-4 game in a 4-1 win over Youngstown State. (Ray Acevedo)
Andrew Bain touches home plate for what turned out to be the game-winning run in the 6th inning Thursday. The left fielder had a 2-for-4 game in a 4-1 win over Youngstown State. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cole Webb was due for some good fortune.

The first half of 2013 yielded several tough-luck losses where either the offense - or the defense - betrayed him. The junior dodged bullets all afternoon Thursday in a 4-1 win over Youngstown State.

Command issues plagued the righty as he frequently worked from behind in the count only to see elevated pitches land in the outfield for hits.

"Cole really struggled through six innings, but we were very fortunate to take advantage of their mistakes. We've got to play better the next two days," head coach Tracy Woodson said.

To his credit, Webb labored through and turned in six innings of one-run ball in a 119-pitch start.

Phil Lipari got the Penguins on the board in the top of the first with a double to left center that scored Mike Accardi. A successful relay throw from Spencer Mahoney to Billy Cribbs nixed Drew Dosch at home plate for the third out of the inning.

Webb and the Crusaders avoided further damage in the second inning after Neil Schroth tried to stretch a leadoff double into a triple. The throw from Mahoney arrived at third base in plenty of time to retire the Penguins' second baseman for the first out.

The Penguins recorded four hits in the third inning but a caught stealing and a pickoff at second base negated any offensive momentum.

Youngstown State starter Patrick O'Brien was excellent early on as he kept the Crusaders hitless through three frames.

It was in the bottom of the fourth inning that Valpo evened up the score at one apiece.

With Tanner Vavra on second base, Chris Manning hit a chopper over the mound that Schroth backhanded and threw to first in an attempt to retire the Crusaders' right fielder. Manning legged out the throw at first. Vavra never stopped around third base and he raced around to score before Kevin Hix's throw from first base eluded catcher Josh White.

Valpo took the lead in the sixth inning with an RBI base hit from John Loeffler. Loeffler began the at-bat with Andrew Bain at first, but Bain stole second to advance into scoring position before the Crusaders' first baseman drove in his 38th run of the year with a single to right field.

Valpo added two insurance runs in its half of the seventh. With two outs, Cribbs deposited a single into left center before Andy Burns corked a double off the right field wall to set up runners on second and third for Bain.

O'Brien balked in the third Crusader run immediately following a mound visit. With Burns on third base, Bain skied a fly ball into right field that outfielder Nick DiNello lost in the sun. Burns scored on the play while Bain cruised in to second base.

Ben Mahar relieved Webb in the seventh inning and spun off two perfect innings serving as the bridge to closer Karch Kowalczyk.

Kowalczyk retired the first two Penguins in the ninth with ease before issuing a walk to DiNello.

Dosch lined a pitch into left field that Mark Johnson made a sliding catch on for the final out of the game.

The save was Kowalczyk's eighth of the season. The junior now holds the Horizon League lead in saves.

"Our bullpen was outstanding today. Both (Ben) Mahar and Karch (Kowalczyk) were great," Woodson said.

With the win, Valpo improved to 26-26 overall, and 11-11 in the Horizon League. The Crusaders guaranteed no worse than a fourth-place finish with the victory.

Youngstown State fell to 14-39 with the loss, 8-14 in the Horizon League.

The two teams continue their series Friday afternoon at 1:00 pm CT. RHP Chris DeBoo (3-7, 4.90) will face LHP Blake Aquadro (3-8, 5.48) as Valpo looks to clinch the series win at Emory G. Bauer Field.

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 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
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 Horizon League Tournament
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