The Valparaiso University baseball team got off to a promising start against a power-five conference foe on Tuesday night in Starkville, Miss., but 2021 national champion Mississippi State rallied from a 2-0 hole to score 12 unanswered runs and top the Beacons 12-2 in seven innings.
How It Happened
- Starting pitcher Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) tossed two shutout innings, inducing double plays in each of his frames on the mound. The Beacons turned a 43 DP in the opening inning and a L64 twin killing in the second.
- The Beacons struck first in the top of the third, manufacturing two tallies thanks to two walks, an infield single, a sacrifice bunt, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch. Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) lifted the sac fly for the first Valpo run, then Kade Reinertson (Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community) crossed the dish on a wild pitch.
- Valpo went to the bullpen in the third as Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) took over, putting a zero on the board.
- The Bulldogs broke through in the fourth, taking the lead with six runs on six hits.
- Mississippi State added one in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh to invoke the 10-run rule.
Inside the Game
- Reinertson and Jake Skrine (Longmont, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]) accounted for the two Beacon hits.
- Valpo worked five walks including two each from Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) and Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central).
- McCluskey’s final line featured no runs on two hits while working around three walks and striking out one in two innings.
The spring trip continues as Valpo (6-4) will visit No. 22 Southern Miss this weekend for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. in Hattiesburg, Miss. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.