April 05, 20241234567RHE
Illinois State306001111120
Win: Mabee (4-1) 7.031103
Loss: Guazzo (0-5) 2.046631
Schmack (VALPO) 301000
Maka (VALPO) 311101
Giusti (VALPO) 201000
Pacella (ILS) 433200
Maka Homers in Series-Opening Setback
Friday, April 5, 2024
Maka Homers in Series-Opening Setback
Ryan Maka homered for Valpo's only run in the opening game of the series.

The Valparaiso University baseball team fell to Illinois State 11-1 in seven innings on Friday in the opening game of a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series in Normal, Ill. Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) homered to provide a bright spot for the Beacons.

How It Happened

  • Valpo sent down the first two Redbird batters in the opening inning, but after an infield single and a walk, Auggie Rasmussen drilled a three-run homer to start the game’s scoring.
  • Catcher Liam Patton (Barrington, Ill. / Warsaw [Wabash]) cut down an Illinois State runner attempting to steal third in the second, helping lead to a scoreless frame from Adam Guazzo (Huntley, Ill. / Huntley). The runner was called safe initially, but the play was overturned on replay review.
  • Illinois State scored six in the third to expand the lead to 9-0.
  • Valpo cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fifth thanks to a solo shot by Maka that traveled upward of 400 feet.
  • Illinois State added a run in the sixth to extend the lead back to nine at 10-1. A game-ending double in the bottom of the seventh invoked the 10-run rule.

Inside the Game

  • Maka’s home run was his first of the season as he missed 16 games due to an injury. This marked his 13th career home run, seven of which came last season.
  • Senior Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) saw his season-long on-base streak come to an end. His 26-game streak was halted with an 0-for-3 day.
  • Maka was joined in the hit column by Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) and Connor Giusti (Hoffman Estates, Ill. / Fremd [Wisconsin Oshkosh]), both of whom singled.

Up Next

Valpo (10-17, 2-5 MVC) and Illinois State will face off at 3 p.m. on Saturday for Game 2 in the series. The contest will air on ESPN+.