May 11, 2024123456789RHE
Murray State13020010X760
Win: Pennington (4-4) 6.2533112
Loss: Konitzer (1-3) 4.046436
Hannahs (VALPO) 502100
Maka (VALPO) 402000
Thurston (VALPO) 402000
Vogel (MUR) 312401
Howell (MUR) 412000
Valpo Drops Middle Game in Murray
Saturday, May 11, 2024
Valpo Drops Middle Game in Murray
Bryce Konitzer got the start on the mound on Saturday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team outhit Murray State 11-6 on Saturday evening in Murray, Ky., but the host Racers prevailed 7-3 in the middle game of the weekend series at Reagan Field.

How It Happened

  • Murray State started the scoring as Drew Vogel led off the bottom of the first with a home run for the second straight day.
  • The Racers extended the lead to 4-0 by scoring three times in the second including a ground-rule, two-run double by Vogel. His sixth hit and fifth extra-base knock of the weekend came in only the second inning of Game 2.
  • After Bryce Konitzer (Mukwonago, Wis. / Mukwonago [Oakland]) worked a perfect bottom of the third, Valpo threatened with men at first and third and one away in the top of the fourth, but consecutive strikeouts ended the inning and it stayed 4-0 Racers.
  • Murray State picked up a pair of unearned runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 6-0.
  • Valpo went to the bullpen for the fifth and Griffin McCluskey (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) sent down the side in order with an inning that was punctuated by a strikeout. He followed by sending down three more in succession in the sixth to make it six in a row to begin his outing.
  • Valpo cracked the scoreboard in the top of the seventh, an inning that started modestly with two outs and nobody on base. Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) singled, then Connor Giusti (Hoffman Estates, Ill. / Fremd [Wisconsin Oshkosh]) doubled to left center to drive in a run on a ball that bounced off the top of the wall and nearly left the yard.
  • The seventh inning continued as Kade Reinertson (Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community) added a run-scoring single to make it a 6-2 game. The string of consecutive two-out hits by the Beacons reached five, the last of which was an RBI single by Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) that cut the lead to three.
  • The Racers got one back on a sac fly in the bottom of the seventh, extending the gap back to four at 7-3. 
  • Valpo threatened in the ninth with two on and one out, but could not replicate Friday’s ninth-inning magic.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo dropped to 10-6 when outhitting the opponent this season.
  • Eight of the nine players in the batting order had at least one hit including a trio with multi-hit games – Hannahs, Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) and Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central).
  • McCluskey allowed just one run on two hits in four innings of relief, walking none and striking out two.
  • Ryan extended his on-base streak to 16.

Up Next

Valpo (14-33, 6-17) and Murray State will close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN+.