The Valparaiso University baseball team battled to another one-run game against Missouri State on Saturday at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., but for the third time in the series the Bears prevailed in a game dictated by a single tally, this time 2-1. Valpo starter Trent Turzenski (Burlington, Wis. / Burlington) twirled a gem, but was the tough-luck losing pitcher. The Brown & Gold will get another crack at the Bears as the two teams will face off in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Carbondale.
How It Happened
- After he did not allow a hit over the first two innings, Turzenski permitted a fluke run in the bottom of the third. Both hits in the inning came on slow rollers on the infield sandwiched around a stolen base and wild pitch.
- Valpo got even in the fifth frame as Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) laid down a squeeze bunt that plated the tying run.
- Despite the small blemish in the third, Turzenski kept rolling, putting up zero after zero. In the seventh inning, Thurston provided a dandy of a play deep in the hole at short to retire the side, helping Turzenski flip another 1-2-3 frame.
- The score stayed 1-1 until the bottom of the eighth, when Turzenski allowed a two-out single to left that put the Bears up 2-1.
- That stood as the final score.
Inside the Game
- Turzenski took a tough-luck defeat despite an eight-inning complete game in which he allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six. Although his effort did not lead to a win, it was significant in preserving the Valpo bullpen for the start of the conference tournament on Tuesday.
- Three of the four games in the series were decided by one run. Valpo has played 14 one-run games this year and gone 6-8 in those contests.
- Parker Johnson (Golden Valley, Minn. / Hopkins) and Thurston accounted for the two Valpo hits.
- Despite a tough series in Springfield that featured a trio of losses decided by the slimmest of margins, Valpo finished with its highest conference winning percentage since joining The Valley, representing a step forward for a young team.
Valpo (14-33, 9-19) will face off yet again with Missouri State (21-22, 11-13) in the first round of the MVC Tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Itchy Jones Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. The winner of that single-elimination game will advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament, which begins on Wednesday. If Valpo prevails in the opening round, it would take on top-seeded DBU on Wednesday at 10 a.m. All MVC Tournament games will air on ESPN+ with links to live coverage available on ValpoAthletics.com.