The Valparaiso University baseball team got back in the win column on Tuesday night, topping Alabama State 8-3 in the first of two midweek showdowns between the two teams in Montgomery, Ala. The victory came together as three Valpo hurlers combined to span the nine quality frames while three batters contributed multi-hit efforts.
How It Happened
- The scoring started in the opening inning when Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville] sliced a triple before scooting home on an RBI bouncer by Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif./ Wilson).
- Dent drove in the team’s first three runs of the game, with the next two coming in the third inning as he banged a two-out double to extend the lead to 3-0.
- Valpo opener Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) exited after working around two hits and a walk through two scoreless innings. The Hornets (13-4) stung Ryan Mintz (Lombard, Ill. / Willowbrook) for a run in the third thanks to a walk and two hits, all of which came after two were out.
- Valpo capitalized on a gift run in the top of the fifth when Jorgensen was hit by a pitch, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by the pitcher. Santiago Garcia cracked a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, shrinking the Valpo lead to 4-3.
- The bottom of the sixth proved to be a key frame in the game. Right after the lead had been sliced to one, Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]) smoked a leadoff double, and later in the inning Valpo got runs on singles by Troy Jones (Orland Park, Ill. / Carl Sundberg) and Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central), opening the lead to 6-3.
- Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) took over on the mound for the Brown & Gold in the bottom of the sixth, and the senior was lights out for four frames. He yielded just one hit and one walk while fanning five to preserve the lead and earn the victory.
- Meanwhile, Valpo tacked on two unearned tallies in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Schmack and run-scoring single by Jake Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel).
Inside the Game
- Jorgensen recorded his third multi-hit day and second three-hit output of the season while coming around to score three of the team’s eight runs. Jones had his second two-hit output of the year while Schmack enjoyed his first multi-hit game in a Valpo uniform. The Jorgensen triple was his second of the year and the fourth by the team.
- Dent’s three RBIs matched a career high set on Feb. 16, 2019 at Lipscomb. He extended his hitting streak to three games and is the only Valpo player with hits in each of the last two contests. In the process, Dent upped his season RBI total to six, tied for second on the team.
- Freshman Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) walked twice to boost his team-leading base on balls total to 12 while scoring his eighth run of the year to retain his team leadership in that area as well.
- The three Valpo moundsmen combined for 12 strikeouts while permitting just six hits and holding the Hornets off the scoreboard in seven of the nine innings.
Valpo (2-12) and Alabama State will face off again on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. CT. A link to live stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.