Valparaiso University baseball sophomore Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) turned in a strong pitching performance, but he was outdueled by Bradley’s Nick King in a 2-0 setback in Sunday’s rubber match at Emory G. Bauer Field.
Prior to the contest, Valpo recognized senior players Jake Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel), Jeremy Drudge (Plymouth, Ind. / Plymouth), Keegan Bates (Plainfield, Ill. / Plainfield North), Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove) and Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) in addition to senior managers Sam Miller and Evan Smith in a pregame Senior Day ceremony.
How It Happened
- The only scoring in the game by either team occurred in the top of second, when Bradley scored twice on four singles and an error.
- McCluskey did not surrender any damage the rest of the way as he issued just one walk while striking out five and yielding six hits over five innings of two-run ball in a tough-luck loss.
- The Valpo bullpen continued its recent stretch of success as Fricke, Jacob Rosenkranz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) and Nathan Chasey (Ames, Iowa / Gilbert [Indian Hills CC]) combined for four scoreless innings of two-hit relief to give the offense every opportunity. Fricke faced immediate trouble when he entered the game in the sixth by yielding a leadoff double and a wild pitch, but he locked down from there as back-to-back strikeouts kept that runner at third. After a walk, he induced a foul popup to retire the side.
- Rosenkranz was dominant in his two frames, retiring all six men he faced, before Chasey pitched around a leadoff single in the top of the ninth.
- Scoring chances were few and far between, but Valpo did strand two in both the fifth and sixth innings. Bradley’s Nick King worked 8+ innings of shutout ball and permitted five hits while walking three and striking out seven before Troy Hickey came on for his third save.
Inside the Game
- The Valpo bullpen was excellent all weekend, allowing just six hits and three walks over 10 innings of two-run ball, with both runs coming on a two-run homer.
- Renfro was the lone Beacon with a multi-hit effort on a day where the team was limited to five hits.
- All five Valpo hits were singles.
Valpo (15-30, 4-14 MVC) will close out the regular season with a three-game series at Evansville beginning on Thursday night at 6 p.m. The games will air on ESPN3 with links to live video and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.