April 02, 2023123456789RHE
Murray State03001602214160
Win: Pennington (4-1) 7.052204
Loss: McCluskey (1-4) 4.164337
McCullough (MUR) 434220
Hannahs (VALPO) 402100
Olive (VALPO) 312101

April 02, 2023123456789RHE
Murray State30230400214160
Win: Boynton (2-1) 2.120024
Loss: Lockwood (2-2) 5.0108715
Mercer (MUR) 534310
Tucker (VALPO) 403010
Baseball Drops Doubleheader to Racers
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Baseball Drops Doubleheader to Racers
Matt Olive had one of Valpo's three home runs on Sunday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team lost both games of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field, falling to Murray State 14-3 in the opener and 14-5 in the nightcap. The Beacons did crank three home runs highlighted by a Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) grand slam.

How It Happened – Game 1

  • Murray State scored three times in the top of the second of the opening game to take a 3-0 lead. The inning included a home run by Taylor Howell.
  • Valpo starting pitcher Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) settled in and did not allow another run until the fifth, when an unearned tally helped the Racers expand the lead to 4-0.
  • Murray State broke it wide open against the Valpo bullpen in the top of the sixth, scoring six times including Howell’s second home run of the game, this time a three-run job.
  • Back-to-back jacks helped Valpo get on the board in the sixth as Matt Olive (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) and Spencer Warfield (Fullerton, Calif. / Servite) both went yard.
  • Murray State scored two in the top of the eighth to make it 12-2, but a run-scoring single by Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) in the bottom of the inning helped the Beacons dodge the 10-run rule and stay alive.
  • The guests got two more in the top of the ninth to account for the final margin.

Inside the Game – Game 1

  • Hannahs and Olive had two hits apiece to lead the team.
  • Olive connected on his second home run of the season and the fourth of his collegiate career.
  • Warfield’s big fly was the second of his career, both this season.
  • McCluskey’s final line featured 4 1/3 innings in which he struck out seven while walking three, permitting six hits and yielding four runs (three earned).
  • The Beacons committed a season-high three errors.

How It Happened – Game 2

  • Murray State jumped in front on a three-run homer by Brennan McCullough in the top of the first.
  • The Racers added two more in the third, before Valpo got on the board when a Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) bouncer drove in a run in the bottom of that inning to make it 5-1.
  • A bases-clearing triple by Dustin Mercer in the fourth expanded the Murray State lead to 8-1.
  • Valpo got back in the game on one swing of the bat from Maka in the bottom of that inning, as he made the Racers pay for two walks and a hit batter with a grand slam to dead center to cut the lead to three at 8-5.
  • Murray State got those four runs right back in the top of the sixth, when all four tallies were unearned.
  • Neither team scored again until the ninth, when a two-run double for Murray State accounted for the game’s final margin.

Inside the Game – Game 2

  • Pitcher Jonathan Hyman (Bellbrook, Ohio / Bellbrook [Paradise Valley / IMG]) tossed the ninth inning, making his Valpo debut.
  • Redshirt sophomore Josh Cottrill (Pewaukee, Wis. / Pewaukee) twirled two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Of the seven Valpo men who took the mound on Sunday, Cottrill was the only one who was not charged with a run.
  • The Beacons committed four errors, surpassing their season high from the first game and finishing the day with seven miscues. Prior to Sunday, Valpo had made multiple errors in a game just twice over the season’s first 18 contests and never more than two in a single game.  
  • Tucker recorded three hits in Game 2, his fourth game with three hits or more this season.
  • Hannahs also had a multi-hit output, his sixth of the year.
  • Renfro reached base safely in both games on Sunday, extending his on-base streak to 20. This marks Valpo’s first 20-game on-base streak since Hannahs in 2021. If Renfro reaches on Monday, he will own Valpo’s longest on-base streak since Sam Shaikin’s 23 gamer in 2017.
  • Maka’s grand slam was the second by a Beacon this year, joining Renfro’s on March 10 at No. 22 Southern Miss. Renfro’s slam was the first by a Valpo player since March 3, 2019 (Sam Shaikin at UNCW).
  • The home run was the eighth of Maka’s career and his third this season.

Up Next

Valpo (8-12, 0-5 MVC) and Murray State will close the series on Monday at 11 a.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field. There will be no video streaming coverage of this game but a link to live stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.