May 09, 2023123456789RHE
Western Michigan010000050691
Win: Krier (2-1) 4.031100
Loss: SZCZEPANIAK (0-2) 2.014432
DOYLE (WMU) 422200
Schmack (VALPO) 423310
Six-Run Third Lifts Beacons Over Broncos
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Six-Run Third Lifts Beacons Over Broncos
Kaleb Krier was the winning pitcher on Tuesday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team grabbed control of the game with a six-run third inning and held the lead for the day’s duration on Tuesday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field, besting visiting Western Michigan 9-6 in the final nonconference game of the season. Kyle Schmack had three hits to pace a 10-hit effort.

How It Happened

  • Western Michigan tallied the game’s first run in the top of the second, but starting pitcher Kaleb Krier (Altoona, Iowa / Southeast Polk [DMACC]) limited the damage in that frame and faced the minimum in both the first and third.
  • In the bottom of the third, two walks and an infield single loaded the bags, before Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) was nailed with a pitch to force in the game-tying run. That prompted a Western Michigan pitching change – their first but certainly not their last of the day as they ran out eight different hurlers.
  • Schmack greeted the new moundsman with a two-run double, then Ryan Maka grounded out to drive in a run. Jake Skrine (Longmont, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]) lifted a sacrifice fly, and later Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) ripped a run-scoring single to make it 6-1.
  • Schmack picked up his second double in the fourth, again driving in a run.
  • Skrine tripled to lead off the fifth and crossed the dish on a sac fly by Thurston that widened the gap to seven, then Olive worked a bases-loaded walk to force in a run in the sixth to increase the lead to eight.   
  • Krier went four innings of one-run, three-hit ball before Josh Cottrill (Pewaukee, Wis. / Pewaukee) worked two scoreless, hitless innings. Jacob Rosenkranz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) pitched a shutout seventh, and all was smooth sailing with Valpo leading 9-1 going to the eighth.  
  • Valpo’s cruise control hit a speed bump in the eighth when the first three Broncos to come to the plate reached base, leading to a Valpo pitching change. A pair of two-run singles cut the deficit to four, then WMU got within three on a base hit that produced the final out of the five-run frame when the batter tried to stretch it to a double.
  • Valpo’s Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) bounced back in the ninth, sending down the side in order.

Inside the Game

  • Schmack’s three-hit game was his second of the season, matching his season high in the hit column that was set on April 8 at Evansville. His three RBIs marked his highest single-game total since four on Feb. 26 at UT Martin. He had a walk and two runs scored to go along with his big day that featured a pair of doubles.
  • Skrine’s triple was his first in a Valpo uniform.
  • Krier picked up the win to improve to 2-1.
  • Valpo extended its head-to-head winning streak over Western Michigan to five.
  • Valpo secured its 18th win, the team’s highest win total since 2018. Valpo needs two more victories to nail down its first 20-win season since 2017. This comes despite the fact that six games have been canceled due to poor weather this season.

Up Next

Valpo (17-21, 8-13) will visit Belmont for a three-game series in Nashville starting on Friday. Note that the start time for Friday’s series opener has been moved to 1 p.m.