The Valparaiso University baseball team incurred a one-run defeat on Thursday night in Springfield, falling 5-4 to Missouri State. Valpo had leads of 1-0 and 3-1, but the Bears scored four in the fifth to take the lead and fended off the visitors for the game’s duration.
How It Happened
- The first run of the day came on one swing of the bat from Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]), who led off the third by depositing one into the left-field bullpen for a solo homer. That was the first hit of the night by either team and put Valpo up 1-0.
- Missouri State tied the game in the third as Jack Duffy hit a solo homer. The Bears nearly made it back-to-back homers, but John Privitera’s drive to right that was initially ruled a home run was changed to a double after the umpires got together and determined that the ball hit off the wall and stayed in play. Privitera was eventually stranded at third as Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) limited the damage to one run.
- Valpo quickly regained the lead by scoring twice in the fourth. Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) doubled off the wall in left, then Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) ripped an RBI triple to the gap in right-center as a diving effort by the MSU centerfielder was fruitless. Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) did his job with a ground ball to short that drove in Dawson, making it 3-1 Valpo.
- Missouri State scored four times in the fifth to take a 5-3 lead.
- Valpo threatened in the sixth with a hit and a walk, but didn’t score. Billinger just missed a three-run shot with a warning-track fly ball to left.
- Valpo moved a step closer in the eighth as Jake Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) rammed a double to lead off the inning, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground ball by Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson).
- Valpo had the potential tying run in scoring position in the top of the ninth, but couldn’t draw even.
Inside the Game
- Jorgensen ripped his second home run of the season and first in Valley play. His first Valpo home run came on March 12 at Tennessee Tech.
- Dawson’s triple was his fifth of the season, moving into a tie with Bradley’s Brendan Dougherty for the Missouri Valley Conference lead.
- The triple was the 13th of Dawson’s career, making him just the third player in program history to reach that number. He joins Robert Skaltsas (1974-1977) in a tie for second, behind only all-time leader Rob Hadrick (1994-1997), who finished with 15.
- Dawson’s run scored in the third inning was the 143rd of his career, moving him past Marc Boggio (1993-2003) and into sole possession of seventh in program history.
- Dawson also moved into sole possession of second in program history in career assists on Thursday. He entered the evening tied with John Giusti (2005-2008, 488) for second. He now has 490, and trails only Spencer Mahoney (2012-2015, 559).
- Valpo pitcher Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) was not charged with a run over 3 ½ innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out four. Tieman took the loss after being charged with five runs on just four hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Valpo (14-33, 6-13 MVC) and Missouri State (17-34, 8-11 MVC) will continue the series on Saturday night with a 6:30 p.m. start. Links to live audio and stats courtesy of Missouri State Athletics are available on ValpoAthletics.com.