April 14, 2015123456789RHE
Western Michigan00200004X680
Win: PIECHOTA (2-1) 5.010012
Loss: Hasler (0-1) 6.052200
Lodden (VALPO) 401100
Palace (VALPO) 401000
Molitor (VALPO) 301000
Bartolomucci (VALPO) 301000
Edwards (VALPO) 311000
KUJAWA (WMU) 412301
Crusader Bats Stall Against Broncos
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Crusader Bats Stall Against Broncos

For the fourth straight midweek game, the Crusaders struggled to find their offensive stride, falling 6-1 to Western Michigan at Robert J. Bobb Stadium in Kalamazoo on Tuesday. 

Valpo jumped out to its first lead in nine games after a single run in the top of the third. Jeff Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) recorded the first hit of the afternoon with an infield single between shortstop and third base. With Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) at the plate with two outs, Edwards took off on the first pitch of the at-bat. He was initially called out by the umpire at second base, but was subsequently overruled by the first-base umpire. Lodden followed with a double to left that got over the head of outfielder Tanner Allison. Edwards came in to score on Lodden's 29th run batted in of the season and the Crusaders led 1-0.

Western Michigan responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half.

Allison and catcher Mitchell Ho singled to open the frame. Both advanced into scoring position after a Drew Farmer sacrifice bunt. Bronco third baseman Grant Miller delivered an RBI single to left that plated Beau Filkins, the pinch-runner for Allison, and tied the game. Shorstop Nick Vogelmeier, the next batter, laid down a safety squeeze that scored Ho from third. The Broncos led 2-1 after three innings.

The two-run inning was the only damage yielded by junior Drew Hasler (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian). He went six innings, surrendering five hits. He needed just 57 pitches to acquire 18 outs.

It remained a one-run game until the home half of the eighth. The Broncos successfully executed another safety squeeze for their third run before Jared Kujawa deposited a three-run homer over the right-field wall. His fifth round-tripper expanded Western Michigan's lead to 6-1.

Jacob Piechota, who took over for starting pitcher Peyton Gray in the fifth, fired five scoreless frames of one-hit ball to earn the win.

Valpo (13-18, 9-5 Horizon) will have the rest of the week to prepare for a pivotal Horizon League series against the first-place UIC Flames (16-12, 11-4 Horizon). Dalton Lundeen (3-3, 4.10) will get the ball in the series opener on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm CT at Emory G. Bauer Field. Links to the audio and live stats are available at ValpoAthletics.com.