March 15, 2024123456789RHE
Win: SIEGNER (2-0) 2.221132
Loss: McCluskey (0-3) 0.211101
Schmack (VALPO) 313230
KNIPP (CAM) 412311
KOONTZ (CAM) 322221
BONDS (CAM) 512000
RILEY (CAM) 422201
Valpo Edged by No. 21 Campbell on Walk-Off Homer
Friday, March 15, 2024
Valpo Edged by No. 21 Campbell on Walk-Off Homer
Connor Lockwood pitched four solid innings on Friday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team certainly held its own against a top-25 opponent, but No. 21 Campbell came from behind twice and won a topsy-turvy game 10-9 on a walk-off home run in Friday’s series opener in Buies Creek, N.C. The Beacons held leads of 5-1 and 9-5 against the Fighting Camels on a day where Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) went 3-for-3 and reached base five times.

How It Happened

  • Valpo jumped on the board in the opening inning, as a leadoff double by Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) set the table for a productive inning. He eventually came around to score as Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) stroked a run-scoring single, then Schmack crossed the dish when Kevin Denty (Tinley Park, Ill. / Marian Catholic) did his job with a ground ball to the right side.
  • The Fighting Camels immediately cut the lead in half when Bryce Knipp cracked a leadoff home run in the last of the first. Starting pitcher Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) rebounded and allowed no further damage in that frame, eventually retiring the side with a strikeout as Campbell stranded a runner in scoring position.
  • Valpo scored two more in the second as Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) drew a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch, then Schmack cracked a two-out double to plate Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) and make it 4-1.
  • The Beacons boosted the lead to four in the top of the third as Carson Husmann (Hanna, Ind. / South Central [Bradley]) drilled an RBI double to right to make it 5-1.
  • Lockwood sent down the side in order in both the second and third innings, but the Camels took advantage of two walks to produce a run in the fourth. Lockwood got out of it without further damage and Valpo still leading 5-2.
  • Valpo threatened with two in scoring position in the fifth, but left them stranded.
  • The Beacons went to the bullpen in the bottom of the fifth as Bryce Konitzer (Mukwonago, Wis. / Mukwonago [Oakland]) entered the game. He recorded a huge strikeout to end the inning as Camels were stranded at first and third.
  • Valpo again threatened in the sixth, putting together a string of three straight baserunners after two were out, but the Beacons left the sacks packed.
  • A leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth helped Campbell cut the lead to two at 5-3. Later in the inning, Knipp delivered a two-out single to center to drive in two and tie the game at five.
  • Valpo batted around in the seventh, scoring four times to regain a 9-5 lead. Thurston and Hannahs both worked bases-loaded walks to force in runs, with Hannahs’ fourth ball coming on a pitch-clock violation. The Beacons continued to add on when Schmack and Renfro added two-out hits to make it 9-5.
  • Campbell responded in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four times on five hits to tie the game at nine.
  • The Camels had another chance in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with one out. A failed squeeze bunt resulted in a caught stealing at the plate that helped Jake Jakubowski (Lake in the Hills, Ill. / Huntley [Heartland]) wiggle out of the jam with the game still even at nine.
  • Valpo stranded two in the top of the ninth, and Campbell’s Chandler Riley hit a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Inside the Game

  • Schmack’s second-inning double was the 42nd of his collegiate career, moving him into sole possession of seventh in program history. He was previously tied for seventh on Valpo’s all-time doubles list with Chris Moore (1998-2001) and Kevin Kutansky (2003-2006).
  • Valpo batters worked 14 walks, not only establishing a season high, but nearly doubling the team’s previous season watermark of eight. This marked the team’s sixth straight game with at least seven walks. This was the club’s highest walk total since also working 14 on March 25, 2022 vs. St. Bonaventure.
  • On the flip side, Valpo pitching did issue a season-high eight free passes.
  • In addition to Schmack’s team-high three hits, Hannahs and Renfro enjoyed multi-hit efforts. Hannahs has reached base safely in all 16 games this season.
  • Lockwood’s final line featured two runs on two hits, three walks and four strikeouts over four solid frames. He received no decision.
  • Valpo stranded 12 on base, the fifth time in the last six games that they’ve stranded a dozen or more.
  • Valpo had Campbell on the ropes after the team went 46-15 and 22-5 in the Big South last year and won the conference for the fourth time in five years. The Camels have been an NCAA Regional team each of the last five seasons, and a year ago they were ranked as high as ninth in the country. They entered this weekend ranked No. 21 by D1Baseball and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
  • Knipp’s home run to lead off the bottom of the first was his 13th of the season. He moved into a tie for the national lead in home runs with Charlie Condon of Georgia.
  • The nine runs marked Valpo’s highest total against a nationally-ranked opponent since falling 14-10 at No. 3 Louisville on Feb. 23, 2020.
  • Valpo played its fourth one-run game of the year, falling to 1-3 in those contests.

Up Next

Valpo (7-9) will continue the series at No. 21 Campbell on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT in Buies Creek, N.C. No video feed will be available, but a live radio broadcast courtesy of Campbell Athletics will help fans follow along. Links to live coverage will be available on