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Valpo Begins Six-Game Road Trip This Week at UIC and Indiana State

Monday, March 26, 2007

Valparaiso (4-11, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Game #16 at UIC (6-12, 1-2 Horizon)
Tues., March 27, 7:05 p.m. CDT - Chicago, Ill.
Games #17-20 at Indiana State (9-10, 0-3 MVC)
Fri., March 30, 5 p.m. CDT - Terre Haute, Ind.
Sat., March 31, 12 p.m. CDT (DH) - Terre Haute, Ind.
Sun., April 1, 10 a.m. CDT - Terre Haute, Ind.

This Week in Crusader Baseball:
Valparaiso takes to the road to begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders head to the Windy City to battle future Horizon League foe UIC. The Crusaders then head to Terre Haute, Ind. for a four-game weekend series Friday through Sunday against Indiana State.

On the Air: None of this weekend's games will be broadcast, either on the radio or online.

Pitching Rotation: Harvey Yergin (0-2, 3.60 ERA) is set to get the start for the Crusaders on Tuesday at UIC. Dallas Cawiezell (1-1, 7.84) will get the nod on the mound in game one of the weekend series at Indiana State. The remaining three starters for the weekend have yet to be determined. Elliott Gibbs (0-2, 7.24), Ranko Ivetic (1-1, 6.35), Nick Mazzone (1-3, 3.52), and Yergin are under consideration for the three spots.

Scouting UIC: The Flames dropped two out of three games this past weekend in their Horizon League opener against UW-Milwaukee. Larry Gempp, Jr. leads the team hitting .373 with 12 runs batted in. Chad Schroeder, a .314 hitter, leads the Horizon lead with a .544 on base percentage. On the mound, Steve Crnkovich is 1-3 with a 2.70 earned run average while Andrew Davis has earned three victories on the season out of the bullpen.

Scouting Indiana State: The Sycamores were swept in a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series at #11 Wichita State over the weekend. Chris Schmidt leads Indiana State at the plate hitting .362 on the season while Dave Brumagin is hitting at a .358 clip. Ryan Bond has driven in 16 runs to pace the Sycamores. On the mound, Ryan Tatusko leads the way with a 3-2 record and a 3.30 ERA. All four of Indiana State's starting pitchers have an ERA below 5.40 and opponents are hitting just .273 against the team.

Wrapping Up Last Weekend's Action: The Crusaders broke out their bats on Saturday afternoon, sweeping a doubleheader against Chicago State 12-2 and 16-1 in their home opener at Emory G. Bauer Field. Valpo pounded out 30 hits in the two games, including six by Michael Arensdorff. Brian Rzepka drove home seven runs in the twinbill while Ryan Manthei and Dallas Cawiezell each homered in game two, Cawiezall's shot a grand slam. Nick Mazzone earned the win in the opener, allowing just one run and two hits in five innings of work while Ranko Ivetic tallied his first collegiate victory in the nightcap, allowing one run and three hits in 5.1 innings.

Arensdorff Continues to Hit: Fifth-year senior Michael Arensdorff continues to hit the ball regularly. He started the season with a nine-game hitting streak, only to see it snapped at North Carolina State. He picked up the next game where he left off though, and currently has another five game hitting streak going, hitting safely in 14 of the 15 games this year.

Rzepka's Hitting Streak Hits Seven: Brian Rzepka hit .625 with five hits in the two games against the Cougars and one against Illinois State to extend his hitting streak to seven straight games. He drove in seven runs in the two games, including three sacrifice flies to go along with hits 5-for-8 effort at the plate.

Ivetic Earns First Collegiate Win: Ranko Ivetic recorded his first victory in a Valpo uniform on Saturday afternoon, throwing 5.1 innings of one-run, three-hit baseball in game two of the doubleheader. The freshman lefthander struck out six in the victory.

Cawiezell Clears Them All: Dallas Cawiezell hit his second college homerun in game two of Saturday's doubleheader, getting the most out of his swing. He greated a Cougar reliever drilling a grand slam deep over the left field wall as part of Valpo's 12-run fifth inning.

Rzepka Leads Valpo in RBIs: Brian Rzepka had seven runs batted in in the last three games for the Brown and Gold to extend his team lead to 15 driven home on the campaign.

Arensdorff Leads League in Hitting: Michael Arensdorff has gone over the .400 mark after collecting seven hits in three games last week. His .415 batting average leads the Mid-Continent Conference by 28 points. As a team, Valpo's .275 batting average ranks second in the league.

Mazzone Among League Leaders: Nick Mazzone is among the top pitchers in the Mid-Continent Conference for the first part of the season. The fifth-year senior left-hander is second in the league allowing opponents to hit just .230 against him while ranking fourth with a 3.52 earned run average.

Reynolds Flawless in the Field: Colin Reynolds has not committed an error in 78 chances this season, the second highest total on the team. Reynolds has appeared at first base and right field after playing third base most of last season.

Cawiezell Does His Job with Runners in Scoring Position: Dallas Cawiezell is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with runners in scoring position. He is a perfect 5-for-5 in driving in a runner that is on third base with less than two outs this season.

Arensdorff Fourth All-Time in Total At Bats: Michael Arensdorff has moved into fourth place on Valpo's career at bats list with 673. He is just 84 at bats shy of Marc Boggio's career mark of 761. Arensdorff has 65 at bats already this season.

Rzepka Also Moves Up At Bats List: Brian Rzepka has moved into eighth place all-time with 609 career at bats following his 47 this season. He is 19 at bats shy of Joe Luce for seventh place in school history.

Arensdorff Closing in on Hits Record: With 27 hits this season, Michael Arensdorff now has 224 for his Valpo career. He is 27 base hits shy of Mark Pederson's school record of 251 and currently sits in third place on the Crusaders' all-time charts.

Arensdorff Also Fourth in Career Doubles: Michael Arensdorff also ranks fourth on Valpo's career two-bagger list with 47 career doubles. The fifth-year senior already has seven doubles this season to lead the team.

Yergin Ninth on Innings Pitched List: Harvey Yergin has moved into eighth place on Valpo's career innings pitched list with 242.1 over his four-year career with the Brown and Gold. With five more innings he will pass Chuck Donley and Joe Lazewski and move into sixth place on the career list.

Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in sixth place in the Mid-Continent Conference preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches. Oral Roberts was picked to win the league crown followed by Western Illinois and Oakland. Southern Utah was tabbed fourth and Centenary fifth.