The Valparaiso University baseball team continued its trend of playing competitive matchups with instate power-conference foe Notre Dame, but once again the Fighting Irish came away with the victory, this time by a 7-3 score on Tuesday at Frank Eck Stadium. Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) produced two of Valpo’s five hits including a home run.
How It Happened
- Schmack started the scoring with one swing of the bat in the top of the first, when he cracked a solo home run to left.
- A pair of sac flies and a two-run single helped Notre Dame respond in the bottom of the frame as they tallied four runs in their first trip to the plate.
- In the top of the second, Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) belted a two-out, two-run double to deep right center to quickly trim the deficit to one at 4-3.
- The top of the third was the key inning in the game, as Valpo had the bases juiced with no outs and failed to score. The Beacon bats would not mount a significant threat for the rest of the day.
- A solo shot in the bottom of the third doubled the Notre Dame lead. That would be the final run allowed by Valpo starting pitcher Kaleb Krier (Altoona, Iowa / Southeast Polk [DMACC]), who did not walk any batters over four frames while yielding five runs on seven hits and three strikeouts.
- After two innings of one-run ball from Ryan Mintz (Lombard, Ill. / Willowbrook), Josh Spencer (Woodinville, Wash. / Woodinville [Tacoma]) struck out a pair as part of a scoreless seventh. Christian Hack (Oak Forest, Ill. / Tinley Park) worked the final frame on the bump and gave up one run to account for the game’s final margin.
Inside the Game
- Schmack had two hits, his 13th multi-hit game of the season.
- Schmack’s home run was the 15th of his career and his sixth of the season.
- Redshirt freshman Patrick Ilitch (Detroit, Mich. / University Liggett [IMC]) made his collegiate debut as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning.
- Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) worked a walk, extending his season-long on-base streak to 29. He is one game away from Valpo’s first 30-game on-base streak since Nolan Lodden (34) in 2016.
- Valpo had its four-game winning streak come to an end while Notre Dame’s head-to-head winning streak extended to 15. This was the eighth time in the last nine matchups that a game between the two instate foes has been decided by four runs or fewer.
Valpo (14-15) will return to action this weekend by hosting UIC for a three-game series that begins on Friday at 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field. There will be no video stream available since Valpo softball will be streamed this weekend. A link to live stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.