The Valparaiso University baseball team extended its winning streak to four in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader, but host Omaha bounced back with a victory in game two to earn the split. The Beacons prevailed 4-2 in the opener before the Mavericks took the second game by a 9-2 score.
How It Happened – Game 1
- Omaha got on the scoreboard first by virtue of a triple that scored an unearned run in the second, but the Beacons bounced right back when Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) lifted a two-run homer in the top of the third.
- Neither team scored again until the fifth, when Valpo added on thanks to the continuation of Hannahs’ big game. He ripped a run-scoring double to boost the lead to two, then came around to score on a two-bagger by Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central).
- The Mavericks moved a step closer with an unearned run in the fifth inning to make it 4-2, but that proved to be the game’s final tally.
- Valpo starting pitcher Trent Turzenski (Burlington, Wis. / Burlington) worked six strong innings and allowed two runs (none earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out three. He limited the damage to one run in the fifth inning despite Omaha having first and third with nobody out and the run already in the bank. He followed that with a 1-2-3 sixth in his final frame.
- The Beacons turned the ball over to Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) for the seventh and final inning to try to nail it down. The righty did just that, permitting only a two-out single while putting a zero on the board to cap the triumph.
Inside the Game – Game 1
- Nowak’s save was already his third of the season.
- This marked the fourth time in the first six games of the season that Valpo played in a game decided by two runs or fewer. The Beacons improved to 3-1 in such contests.
- By holding a 4-2 mark through six games, Valpo boasted its best record through six games since 2009.
- The victory extended Valpo’s winning streak to four, all in road games. The Beacons last four-game winning streak came late in the 2019 season against Southern Illinois and Chicago State.
- Hannahs, Schmack and Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) turned in two hits apiece. Schmack doubled twice, while Hannahs delivered the aforementioned homer and double. Hannahs has already belted three dingers this year, matching his season total from his rookie campaign.
- Turzenski earned the win to improve his season record to 2-1 through three starts.
How It Happened – Game 2
- The hosts got out to an early lead in Game 2, scoring on an RBI double in the opening inning before expanding the lead with a three-run shot in the second.
- The Mavericks broke it open by scoring four more runs in the third. The first of those scored on a wild pitch, then three more came in on a three-run homer to build the gap to 7-0.
- The Beacons got on the board in the fourth as Adam Brauch (Waukee, Iowa / Dowling Catholic) batted in a run with an infield single. Omaha added two in the bottom of that frame to make it 9-1.
- The Beacons got their final run as Kade Reinertson (Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community) singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Inside the Game – Game 2
- Hannahs again had two hits, already his fifth multi-hit output of the season through only seven contests.
- Highlights on the mound were Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) and Christian Hack (Oak Forest, Ill. / Tinley Park), who both logged scoreless innings.
Valpo (4-3) and Omaha will clash again on Saturday as Game 3 in the series is slated for noon. Links to live video, audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.