February 19, 2023123456789RHE
Win: Dougan (1-0) 2.023315
Loss: Rosenkranz (0-1) 2.034002
Tucker (VALPO) 412201
Schmack (VALPO) 412101
Shojinaga (KU) 311201
Brooks (KU) 211010
Cranford (KU) 411100
Jans (KU) 411301
Valpo Slugs Three Home Runs, Kansas Rallies to Win Rubber Match
Sunday, February 19, 2023
Valpo Slugs Three Home Runs, Kansas Rallies to Win Rubber Match
Jake Skrine homered twice in this weekend's series.

Nine of the 10 runs that crossed the plate on Sunday afternoon came via the long ball as Kansas prevailed 6-4 in the rubber match of a three-game, season-opening series against the Valparaiso University baseball team in Corpus Christi, Texas. Valpo led 4-2 through five and a half innings thanks to three Beacon bombs, but four unearned Jayhawk tallies in the bottom of the sixth including a three-run home run flipped the script.

How It Happened

  • Kansas started the scoring with a two-run homer in the second inning. Starting pitcher Ryan Mintz (Lombard, Ill. / Willowbrook) walked four in that frame and left with the bases loaded and two outs. Grant Jablonski (Mishawka, Ind. / Mishawaka) was summoned from the bullpen and notched a strikeout, minimizing the damage to two runs.
  • Jablonski struck out the side in the third, then Valpo got on the board when Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) led off the fourth with a home run. Jablonski kept rolling in the last of the fourth, working another 1-2-3.
  • The Beacons grabbed the lead thanks to one swing of the bat by Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central), who belted a two-run big fly to make it 3-2 Valpo in the fifth.
  • Jablonski issued a lead off walk in the bottom of the fifth to snap his stretch of seven straight retired since entering the game, but he induced a double play and again faced the minimum in that inning.
  • Valpo added to the lead in the sixth when Jacob Skrine (Longmont, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]) crushed one to left for the team’s third home run of the day, making it a 4-2 game.
  • Jablonski exited after facing 10 batters and recording 10 outs as Jacob Rosenkranz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) took over in the bottom of the sixth. He would have had a 1-2-3 frame, but instead a throwing error was sandwiched between the first two outs. That proved large as eventually four unearned runs crossed the plate in the inning, three of which came on a go-ahead three-run homer by Chase Jans.
  • Rosenkranz retired the side in order in the seventh before Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) made his season debut with a scoreless eighth, working out of a second-and-third, one-out jam thanks to consecutive strikeouts.
  • A double play ended the Valpo eighth, and the Beacon bats went down in order in the ninth.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo hit six home runs in the three games against Big 12 foe Kansas, including two by Skrine, the first two of his collegiate career after joining the program as a grad transfer from Indiana.
  • Tucker’s home run was the third of his career, while Schmack’s was his 10th.
  • Jablonski’s final line featured 3 1/3 shutout innings of hitless ball while striking out four and walking one. That marked his career high in terms of both innings pitched and strikeouts.
  • The Beacons yielded just four hits and outhit the Jayhawks 5-4.
  • Tucker and Schmack recorded two hits apiece.
  • Redshirt sophomore Matt Olive (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) was in the lineup at designated hitter, making his first appearance since March 13, 2022 after he missed the bulk of last season with an injury.

Up Next

Valpo (1-2) will visit UT Martin for a three-game series beginning on Friday, Feb. 24 in Martin, Tenn. The series opener will get underway at 5 p.m.