Rochester, Mich. - Valpo scored in five of the seven innings of the nightcap and went on to defeat Oakland 10-8 to gain a split of a Mid-Continent Conference doubleheader. Oakland won the first game 10-7. Kevin Kutansky had three hits and four RBIs on the day. Marc Boggio and Jeff Mandsager also tallied three hits each in the twinbill. Jeff Rickert had a two-run double and Eddie Hannan added a solo homer in the victory, while Sean Peickert belted a two-run homer in the first game.
The Crusaders (12-25-1, 3-5 Mid-Con) broke a 3-3 tie in the second game, scoring one run in the fourth inning and four in the fifth. Hannan's third homer gave Valpo a 4-3 lead in the fourth. Two Oakland errors opened the door for the Crusaders' four-run fifth. After Eric Snyder doubled and Sean Peickert reached on a hit-by-pitch, consecutive errors by Oakland's pitcher and third baseman allowed Snyder, Peickert and Boggio to score. Kutansky's single to right plated Brandon Sadler to increase the lead to 8-3.
Boggio (3-4) earned the win, pitching the first 5 innings. The senior righthander allowed four runs and eight hits, while striking out six and walking three. Adam Paetznick hurled the last two innings to record his Mid-Con-leading sixth save. Oakland made it interesting in the seventh, scoring three runs and bringing the potential winning run to the plate. The game ended when Paetznick snagged Will Tollison's line drive.
Rickert, who hammered a two-run double in the second, and Hannan, each had two hits. Boggio drove in Valpo's first run in the first with a single.
Brad Leach led Oakland with three hits, while Gerry Dufour added two hits and two RBIs. Brent Brown (1-3) took the loss, allowing seven runs (two earned) and five hits in 4 innings.
The Golden Grizzlies (17-22, 4-4 Mid-Con), ignited by Tollison's three-run homer in the first inning of the first game, led 9-2 after three innings. Peickert's second home run - a two-run shot in the first- accounted for Valpo's early runs.
The Crusaders rallied with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to trim the deficit to 9-7. Kutansky, a freshman, delivered a three-run double in the fifth. Mandsager's RBI double and Hannan's RBI produced the fourth-inning runs.
Tollison, who finished with four RBIs, had a fielder's choice RBI groundout in the sixth for Oakland's final run. Solid relief pitching by both teams kept the contest scoreless over the final three innings.
Todd Evans (2-5) started for the Crusaders, allowing nine runs in 3 innings. Relievers Kyle Cummings (2 1/3) and Jordan Smolar (2 2/3) limited the Golden Grizzlies to one hit and no earned runs. Cummings struck out six and walked two.
Steve Kniebbe (3-0) was credited with the win, allowing six earned runs and six hits. He fanned six and walked one.
Valpo hosts Bradley in a doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 2 p.m.