May 13, 20231234567RHE
Win: RUZICKA (1-3) 4.263246
Loss: Chasey (1-4) 3.077731
Tucker (VALPO) 312000
Olive (VALPO) 402100
HEATON (BEL) 413310
HARDEN (BEL) 423000
Belmont Evens Series, Sets Up Sunday Rubber Match
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Belmont Evens Series, Sets Up Sunday Rubber Match
Kyle Schmack homered for the second straight day on Saturday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team will play a key rubber match in this weekend’s Missouri Valley Conference series at Belmont on Sunday after the Bruins leveled the set with a 13-3, seven-inning win at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday afternoon. Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) and Matt Olive (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) had two hits apiece, while Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) ripped a home run for the second straight day.

How It Happened

  • Valpo threatened with runners at second and third and nobody out in the top of the first, but failed to score. Belmont plated four runs including a two-run homer by Sam Slaughter in the bottom of the inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
  • Belmont added a run in the bottom of the second, then Valpo threatened again in the top of the third, but a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity ended with a double play.
  • The Bruins tacked on two more in the fourth to expand the lead to 7-0.
  • The Beacon bats picked it up in the fifth, when a Tucker double was followed by a 445-foot home run by Schmack to straightaway center to make it a 7-2 game. Valpo added another later in the inning when Olive poked a run-scoring single to make it 7-3.
  • Reliever Ryan Mintz (Lombard, Ill. / Willowbrook) worked the first 1-2-3 inning of the day for the Valpo pitching staff in the bottom of the fifth. The Beacons threatened in the top of the sixth, but an outstanding play by the Belmont second baseman took a hit away from Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) and caused Valpo to strand a pair.
  • Belmont tacked on three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to invoke the 10-run rule.

Inside the Game

  • Schmack’s home run was his second of the series and eighth of the season, moving him into a tie for the team lead. It marked his 17th career home run.
  • The Schmack home run represented the team’s 43rd of the season. This weekend, Valpo moved into fifth in program history for team home runs in a single season, bumping the 2018 campaign out of the top five. This marks the team’s highest single season home run total since 2002 – well before the BBCOR bat era began in 2011.
  • Olive’s multi-hit game was his seventh of the season, while Tucker’s was his 14th. Tucker’s double was his seventh of the year.

Up Next

Valpo (19-21, 9-14 MVC) and Belmont will conclude the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The game will air on ESPN3.