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.

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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
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
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo