April 05, 2019123456789RHE
Illinois State10021120613151
Win: Headrick (2-3) 7.071109
Loss: Tieman (1-5) 7.0117336
Rave (ILS) 623301
Butler (ILS) 533110
Butler (ILS) 523200
Fitzsimmons (VALPO) 303100
Illinois State Takes Series Opener from Valpo
Friday, April 5, 2019
Illinois State Takes Series Opener from Valpo
Blake Billinger collected two hits on Friday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team dropped its first conference home game of the season 13-1 to visiting Illinois State on Friday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Redbirds tacked on six insurance runs in the top of the ninth and scored eight of their 13 runs over the final three innings.

How It Happened

  • John Rave cracked a homer to right on the first pitch of the game to give Illinois State an immediate 1-0 lead.
  • Valpo responded with a second-inning run as Steven Fitzsimmons (Golden Valley, Minn. / Robbinsdale Cooper) ripped a two-out single that scored Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]). That came after Valpo starting pitcher Jon Tieman induced inning-ending double plays to squash Illinois State threats in each of the first two frames.
  • A solo blast by Joe Aeilts to lead off the top of the fourth put the Redbirds back in front, then they tacked on an unearned run later in the inning.
  • Illinois State pushed across single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings before scoring two more in the seventh to make it 7-1.
  • Three of Illinois State’s six runs against reliever Keegan Bates (Plainfield, Ill. / Plainfield) in the top of the ninth were unearned.

Inside the Game

  • Fitzsimmons enjoyed a 3-for-3 day at the dish while driving in Valpo’s lone run of the game. It was the fourth RBI of the season for the Valpo junior. In addition, he had his second game with three hits or more this year and his fifth multi-hit output.
  • Billinger had his team-leading 10th multi-hit game of 2019 on a day where all eight Valpo hits were singles.
  • Tieman (1-5) allowed seven runs (three earned) on 11 hits and three walks while striking out six in seven innings to take the defeat. The pitcher of record on the positive side was Brent Headrick, who scattered seven hits and notched nine strikeouts while issuing no walks over seven frames to improve to 2-3.

Up Next

Valpo (5-20, 0-4) and Illinois State (16-13, 0-1) are scheduled to play the middle game of the three-game set beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday. However, please stay tuned for possible schedule changes for the remainder of the series due to Sunday’s unfavorable forecast. The games can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso and online via the TuneIn Radio app. Links to live audio and stats are available, and in-game updates will be provided on Twitter (@ValpoBaseball).