April 04, 2015123456789RHE
Win: JAQUISH (2-2) 1.220011
Loss: Kaucic (1-2) 0.012210
Mahoney (VALPO) 502100
Delaney (VALPO) 502000
MEETEER (UWM) 503100
KOENIG (UWM) 433111
Crusaders Drop Series Finale to Panthers
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Crusaders Drop Series Finale to Panthers

Valparaiso fought back from a two-run hole to claim a 3-2 sixth-inning lead, but Milwaukee scored five runs off the Crusader bullpen to win the series finale, 7-3, at Henry Aaron Field on Saturday afternoon. 

Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) and Daniel Delaney (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks [Fresno State]) cracked two hits apiece, but Valpo left 12 runners on base in the loss.

Both starting pitchers allowed ten runners to reach base. Ryan Fritze (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury [Des Moines Area CC]) threw five innings of two-run ball. He yielded eight hits, issued one walk, and hit a batter while striking out six. UWM's Joe Pavlovich lasted 5 1/3 innings on the hill. Valpo managed just four hits off the right-hander, but Pavlovich walked five batters and also hit a man.

Milwaukee's Tell Taylor broke the scoring open in the home half of the fourth. The first baseman laced a two-run single into center for a 2-0 Panther lead. 

After stranding two runners on base four different times in the first five innings, the Crusaders finally broke through in the top of the sixth. Mahoney sliced a bases-loaded single down the left-field line that plated Josh Clark (Granada Hills, Calif./Hillcrest Christian [Riverside City]). Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI groundout in the next at-bat. Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) got in on the fun a batter later with a single to center that brought in Mark Johnson (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township). 

The Panthers tied the game back up a half-inning later. Derek Peake got aboard with a two-out single before moving into scoring position by means of a stolen base. Peake came in to score on a Luke Meeteer chopper up the middle. 

Lefty reliever Justin Jaquish kept the Crusader offense at bay in the sixth and seventh innings. The Panthers expanded their lead to 6-3 in a lengthy bottom half of the seventh. Pat Koenig parlayed a leadoff walk into a run when second baseman Mitch Ghelfi drove him home on a double down the left-field line. Ghelfi scored on a Taylor single to right off Crusader reliever Trevor Haas (Mount Prospect, Ill./Hersey). Taylor later touched home on a wild pitch unleashed by left-hander Luke Syens (Burlington, Wis./Burlington [Madison]).

All in all, four Valpo relievers saw the mound in the three-run frame.

Koenig supplied Milwaukee with an insurance tally in the eighth with a solo home run to left, his second of the series.

The Brown and Gold stranded 12 runners on base. Mahoney and Delaney enjoyed two-hit afternoons while Shea Molitor (Plymouth, Minn./West Lutheran [Des Moines Area CC]) accepted three walks.

The Crusaders (10-16, 6-5 Horizon) has a busy week ahead of themselves. They host Toledo on Tuesday at 3 pm before heading to Notre Dame on Wednesday evening at 7:05 pm ET/6:05 pm CT. Valpo will then resume Horizon League play on Friday as Oakland comes to town. Links to audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.