The Valparaiso University baseball team was again paced by Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) and Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]), who had two hits apiece in the team’s fourth and final game of the Lake Area Classic in Lake Charles, La. on Sunday. However, host McNeese State sprinted out to a 6-0 lead over the first three innings and held on for an 8-3 triumph.
How It Happened
- A single, a stolen base and another single accounted for the first McNeese run of the day in the opening inning. The bottom of the second inning started with two outs and nobody on base, but the hosts utilized three straight hits including one double to produce a pair of runs.
- The separation came in the third, when a walk, three hits and an error led to three more McNeese runs to make it 6-0.
- Sophomore Jeremy Drudge (Plymouth, Ind. / Plymouth) smacked a two-run homer with two outs in the fourth, helping Valpo trim the deficit to four. Temple was along for the ride after sending a two-out single to right.
- McNeese got single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings, sandwiched around a Valpo run in the top of the sixth. Valpo had three singles to account for the aforementioned tally, which was unearned due to a passed ball. The third hit in the frame came from Temple and drove in Dent.
- The sixth-inning run for the Cowboys (9-4) occurred on a steal of home on the back end of a double steal. It was an unearned run as the inning had been prolonged by an error.
- Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College]) did not allow an earned run while heaving three frames in relief. The southpaw yielded just one hit and fanned six while issuing no walks.
Inside the Game
- Drudge became the third Valpo player with a home run this season, joining Nolan Tucker and Dent. It was the second home run of the sophomore’s collegiate career with his first big fly coming on April 16, 2019 vs. Western Michigan.
- Dent went 5-for-9 over the final two games of the weekend to climb his season batting average to a team-best .316. He and Temple continue to share the team lead in multi-hit games, now with four apiece.
- The Drudge home run represented Valpo’s lone extra-base knock of the day.
- Starting pitcher Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove) allowed seven runs on 10 hits and four walks in five frames to take the defeat.
Valpo (1-9) will be back in action for a midweek game on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La. The game will be broadcast on YouTube Live courtesy of Nicholls Athletics. Links to live video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.