After tying for the team lead in home runs last season, Valparaiso University baseball junior Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) wasted no time in jumping out to the early team lead in 2023. His opening-day home run served as the highlight of the squad’s 5-1 setback to Kansas in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday.
How It Happened
- Kansas struck first with a run in the opening frame, then posted three runs in the third to leap out to a 4-0 lead.
- The big swing of the bat from Renfro got Valpo on the board in the fourth, slicing the deficit to three as his blast sailed over the right-field fence.
- The Jayhawks got that run back in the seventh on a sacrifice fly.
- Junior Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) allowed four runs on five hits while striking out six and walking four in his four frames. He recorded two strikeouts as part of a scoreless second and caught a pair of Jayhawks looking in his final inning of work, putting up a goose egg in the fourth.
- The lone arm to work in relief was Nathan Chasey (Ames, Iowa / Gilbert [Indiana Hills CC]), as the righty logged the remaining four innings. He kept Kansas to one run on four hits while walking three and fanning four.
Inside the Game
- Valpo pitching notched 10 strikeouts on opening day.
- Renfro’s dinger was Valpo’s lone extra-base knock, but Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central), Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) and Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) were also in the hit column.
- The home run by Renfro was the 12th of his career.
- The last Valpo player to homer on opening day was Jeremy Drudge in 2021 at UAB.
The series between Valpo (0-1) and Kansas in Corpus Christi, Texas continues on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FloSports (subscription required) with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAhtletics.com.