John Snelten (Ingleside, Ill./Antioch
H.S.) allowed just two runs and five hits in 7.1 innings of work on a cool, wet
Tuesday afternoon to lead Valparaiso
to a 5-2 victory over Bradley at Emory G. Bauer Field.
The fifth-year senior, who had
struck out just nine hitters all season coming in, tied his career high with
seven strikeouts while walking just one to get the victory (2-3).
“I think he had his best
breaking ball of the year,” head coach Tracy
Woodson said. “He was able to locate
it and kept hitters off balance.”
Valpo struck first in the
third inning. Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Kellogg H.S.) singled with one out to extend his
hitting streak to 10 games and Kyle
Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling
Meadows H.S.) followed with a walk. Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks,
Wis./Kimberly H.S.) hit a ground ball that appeared to be a double play ball,
but the shortstop dropped the flip, loading the bases. With two outs, Matt Lenski (Milwaukee,
Wis./Marquette University H.S.)
doubled to right-center to score all three unearned runs.
“Lenski’s been put in that
situation all year and again he came through today,” added Woodson.
Bradley (14-24) got a run back
in the fourth on a single by Adam Kimble, the last hit Snelten would surrender
until the eighth.
Valpo tacked on two insurance
runs in the sixth as Kyle Muhlsteff
(Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.) doubled to lead off
the sixth and was sacrificed to third by Lenski. Josh
Wallace (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine
H.S.) and Ranko Ivetic (Schererville, Ind./Lake
Central H.S.) drew walks to load the bases, chasing Braves’ starter Justin
Ziegler. Damon McCormick (Louisville,
Ky./Saint Savier H.S.) greeted
reliever Brad Altback with a two run single to increase the lead to 5-1.
“Those were two big runs for
us,” said Woodson.
The Braves tried to rally in
the eighth as Tommy Fitgerald doubled to score Tim Scanlan and a Crusader
error, their third of the game, put two on with one out. Justin
Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll
H.S.) pitched out of the jam and Jarad
Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) came on to pitch the
ninth for his 11th save of the season, one of the Crusaders’ single
“He just comes in and throws
strikes,” Woodson said of Miller.
Valpo managed just five hits
off of Bradley pitchers, including three off the starter Zieglre whoe went 5.2
innings and allowed all five runs, just two of which were earned.
Bradley had just five hits as
well off of Crusader hurlers, all coming from the top four hitters in the
Valparaiso (20-19) will return to the diamond on Wednesday
afternoon in DeKalb, Ill.
to face Northern Illinois. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. in a make up
game from the March 31 postponement due to rain.