February 17, 202012345678910RHE
Win: Rhodehouse (1-1) 3.000004
Loss: Bailey Sutton (0-1) 2.032213
Jorgensen (VALPO) 403100
Jack Wilson (WKU) 502000
Matt Phipps (WKU) 402000
Baseball Enters Win Column by Topping Western Kentucky in Extras
Monday, February 17, 2020
Baseball Enters Win Column by Topping Western Kentucky in Extras
Easton Rhodehouse picked up the victory with three perfect innings of relief on Monday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team garnered its first victory of the 2020 campaign by capturing the series finale on Monday afternoon at Western Kentucky, besting the host Toppers 5-3 in 10 innings at Nick Denes Stadium in Bowling Green, Ky. Senior Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) belted his first career home run, and Valpo eventually took the lead on a squeeze bunt by Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) in the top of the 10th.

How It Happened

  • After neither team scored for the first three innings of the game, Dent drew a leadoff walk that came back to bite Western Kentucky in the fourth. He eventually came around to score on a passed ball in an inning that saw Valpo benefit from two walks and a hit batter.
  • After Valpo starting pitcher Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove) had permitted no hits and just one baserunner over the first three innings, the Hilltoppers (2-1) responded against him in the fourth. WKU cracked a pair of solo home runs to leap ahead 2-1.
  • Fricke exited after four innings, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in his first start of the year.
  • Valpo regained the lead in the sixth thanks to one swing of the bat by Dent, who belted a two-run blast to right field. Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central), who had walked to lead off the inning, was along for the ride. The Brown & Gold got two more hits in the frame but settled for the two runs.
  • An RBI double in the bottom of the sixth tied the game at three. That was the only blemish against reliever Trent Turzenski (Burlington, Wis. / Burlington), who went three innings and allowed one run on four hits and no walks.
  • The game remained tied at three until the top of the 10th, when Tucker ripped a key double down the left-field line to help set the stage for an eventual bases-loaded squeeze by Jorgensen that drove in the go-ahead run. Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]) followed by lacing a run-scoring hit to left, boosting the lead to 5-3.
  • Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) turned in a masterful relief performance, working three scoreless innings of no-hit ball while striking out four. He retired all nine men he faced in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings.

Inside the Game

  • Dent’s home run was the first by a Valpo player this season. It was also the first career home run for Dent, who entered the weekend with 365 career at-bats.
  • This was the second straight season that Valpo’s third game of the year went to extra innings, as the team fell 7-6 in 11 at Arkansas State on Feb. 24, 2019. It was the team’s first extra-inning affair since a 14-inning marathon on May 10 of last season, a 5-4 win over Southern Illinois.
  • Rhodehouse had an unusual weekend, starting Saturday’s series opener before finishing Monday’s series finale. He earned the victory to improve to 1-1 on the season. Rhodehouse has been the bullpen hero in each of Valpo’s last two extra-inning contests.
  • After just one WKU batter had struck out over the first seven innings, Rhodehouse fanned four of the nine he faced.
  • Jorgensen’s 10th-inning bunt was his third hit of the day, his first three-hit game in a Valpo uniform after transferring in before the 2019 campaign.   
  • Dent had two walks and two runs scored to go along with the home run.

Up Next

Valpo (1-2) will visit No. 2/3 Louisville this coming weekend starting on Friday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. CT in Louisville, Ky. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.