After dropping game one of
Friday afternoon’s doubleheader with Youngstown
State 15-5, Valparaiso’s bats exploded in game two as the
Crusaders defeated the Penguins 14-3 to earn a split of the twinbill on Senior
Day at Emory G. Bauer Field.
“We needed that second game,”
head coach Tracy Woodson said. “We came back strong swinging the bats and
kept adding to our lead in game two.”
Valpo fell behind to begin the
nightcap as back-to-back Penguin doubles and a sacrifice fly gave the visitors
a 2-0 lead in the third. The Crusaders
immediately responded though, batting around in the bottom of the inning,
sending 10 men to the plate while scoring six times.
(Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling
Meadows H.S.) delivered a two-run single and Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove,
Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.), who had
been out of the lineup since March 20, returned and delivered a two-run hit as
well. Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda H.S.) followed with a run-scoring double
and Will Hagel (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect
H.S.) added a RBI single as the Crusaders took a 6-2 lead.
The Crusaders added to their
advantage in the fourth as Justin Frane
(Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) and O’Gara both delivered
RBI hits, increasing the lead to seven runs.
Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.) got in on the RBIs in the fifth
when his single plated Steven Scoby
Valpo blew the game open in
the sixth, scoring four more times to increase the advantage to 13-2. Gaedele led off the inning with a homer deep
to left. Scoby added a two-run single
and the final run scored on a Penguin fielding error, their second miscue of
Youngstown State (21-28, 8-8 Horizon) added a run in the eighth, which
the Crusaders immediately answered in the bottom of the inning. Frane lifted a bases loaded sacrifice fly to
right to score Scoby with the game’s final run.
Seven different Crusaders had
multi-hit efforts as part of Valpo’s 20-hit extravaganza, with Muhlsteff,
O’Gara, Scoby, and Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint
Xavier H.S.) each registering three hits a piece. O’Gara and Gaedele both drove home three runs
H.S.) went eight solid innings for the victory (6-4), allowing just two earned
runs and six hits while striking out 10 Penguins. Blake Aquadro suffered the loss (2-5),
working just 2.2 innings and allowing six runs and five hits.
Youngstown State jumped out to a quick lead in the opener. A two-run single by Joe Iacobucci and a
three-run homerun by C.J. Morris made it 5-0 Penguins after one. Eric Marzec’s three-run triple in the second
pushed the advantage to 8-0 before the Crusaders found the scoreboard.
O’Gara, in just his second at
bat returning from his injury, launched a two-run homer to right-center,
Valpo’s first hit of the game.
The Penguins added solo
homers by Jeremy Banks in the fifth and Tom Clayton in the sixth in addition to
another unearned run in the inning before adding three more in the seventh.
Robinson’s two-run homer in
the seventh as well as Muhlsteff’s RBI double, which set the school’s single
season record with 22 for the campaign, closed out Valpo’s scoring. Jacke Healey, who went 4-for-6 in the game,
added a solo homerun for the Penguins in the ninth.
Aaron Swenson went seven
innings for the win (7-1) for Youngstown
State, allowing five runs
and six hits while striking out 10 Crusaders.
Jon Gulbransen (Appleton, Wis./Fox
Valley Lutheran H.S.) suffered the loss (4-5), allowing nine runs and 11 hits
in five innings.
Muhlsteff, O’Gara, and
Robinson each had two hits to pace Valpo’s offense while Youngstown State
banged out 18 in game one.
Valparaiso (21-28, 8-8) will hit the road for its final five
games of the regular season, beginning on Monday afternoon with a doubleheader
against Butler in Indianapolis, Ind. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. CDT.