The Valparaiso University baseball team dropped a doubleheader against Indiana State on Sunday at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute as the Sycamores remained a kryptonite for the Beacons by extending their long head-to-head winning streak. The Trees took the opening game 7-2 before finishing off the series with a 4-2 win in the nightcap.
How It Happened – Game 1
- The Beacons started the scoring in the top of the first thanks to Jake Skrine (Longmont, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]), who lined a two-out single into right to allow Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) to score from second.
- Starting pitcher Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) did not yield a hit or a run over the first three frames, keeping the Beacons in front 1-0.
- The Sycamores used a two-out double that got up into the wind and over the head of the right fielder in the fourth to get on the board and tie the game at one.
- Indiana State scored five times in the sixth inning to take the lead. That frame included a three-run homer.
- The Beacons got one back in the top of the seventh, but were thinking big inning when they had the bases loaded with nobody out and eventually settled for the single tally.
- Indiana State’s Mike Sears led off the eighth inning with his second home run of the day to expand the lead to 7-2.
- Tucker made an excellent snag at second base as he dove into shallow right to prevent a base hit to close out the eighth.
- Valpo had a pair of hits in the top of the ninth, but could not cash in.
Inside the Game – Game 1
- Skrine had two hits to account for the team’s lone multi-hit effort. He also tallied the team’s lone RBI, his 12th of the season.
- First baseman Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) had a hit and a walk to extend his on-base streak to 16.
- The hit column was level with each team owning eight hits, but the Sycamores strung together hits in their one big inning and had four extra base knocks to Valpo’s one.
- Valpo struck first for the 11th time in 16 games this season and jumped on the board in the first inning for the eighth time in 16 contests.
How It Happened – Game 2
- Valpo struck first yet again as Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) ripped a two-out double before Renfro stroked a single to plate the game’s first run in the top of the first.
- Indiana State tied the game with a run in the bottom of the first, but had a chance for more with the bases loaded and nobody out. Valpo starting pitcher Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) picked up a timely strikeout then induced an inning-ending double play to keep the damage minimal.
- Valpo threatened in the bottom of the second, but stranded two in scoring position. The Sycamores plated two in the bottom of the inning to grab a 3-1 lead.
- The Beacons made outs on the base paths in both the third and fourth innings. In the fourth frame it proved costly as they did not score despite the first three batters of the inning reaching via a double, single and walk.
- Indiana State tacked on in the third by producing a two-out run to make it 4-1, then neither team scored again until the seventh, when a sac fly by Renfro helped the Beacons move a step closer at 4-2.
- McCluskey left after three innings, but Nathan Chasey (Ames, Iowa / Gilbert [Indiana Hills CC]) did great work out of the bullpen to help keep the guests well within striking distance. He yielded just two hits over three scoreless frames.
- The Valpo bullpen remained the Game 2 bright spot when Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) put up a goose egg in the seventh, then Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) completed the outstanding day for the relief corps with a flawless bottom of the eighth.
Inside the Game – Game 2
- Valpo scored first for the 12th time in 17 games this season and in the first inning for the ninth time in 17 contests.
- Renfro extended his on-base streak to 17 as he’s reached in every game this year.
- Schmack and Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) both had multi-hit games. Maka had his fifth of the year and Schmack had his team-leading eighth.
- The hit column once again did not tell the story of the game’s outcome, as Valpo outhit Indiana State 10-8.
- Renfro added two more RBIs, lifting his season total to 15, second on the team.
Valpo (7-10, 0-3 MVC) is scheduled to open the home portion of the season on Tuesday at 3 p.m. vs. Milwaukee at Emory G. Bauer Field. The game will air on ESPN+.