Valparaiso ended Oral Roberts' 40-game home Mid-Continent Conference regular season winning streak that dated back to May 19, 2002 on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders posted a victory in Tulsa, Okla. for the first time ever, defeating the Golden Eagles 7-3.
The Crusaders had only defeated the Golden Eagles just three times in the first 45 meetings between the two schools, winning last on April 20, 2003 at Emory G. Bauer Field in Valparaiso 3-1. Their first win at Oral Roberts came in the final regular season meeting between the two as Mid-Continent Conference foes.
Michael Arensdorff (Eldridge, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) went 4-for-4 in the victory, tying Valparaiso's career hit record with 251, equaling that of Mark Pedersen.
Valpo wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the opening inning. Arensdorff singled and stole second, moving around to third as the throw sailed into centerfield. Dallas Cawiezell (Long Grove, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) singled to left to bring home the first run of the game.
Oral Roberts (24-15, 7-1 Mid-Con) answered with single runs in the bottom of the first and second. Chad Rothford singled home the first run while Brendan Duffy added a base hit in the second to put the Golden Eagles on top.
The Crusaders battled back, retaking the lead in the fourth. Joe Lazar (Traverse City, Mich./Central H.S.) tripled home Jason Brunelli (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.) to tie the game and then scored on a Josh Wallace (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine H.S.) double.
Jeff Rickert (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton H.S.) led off the fifth with a single and Arensdorff followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Back-to-back wild pitches plated both runners, increasing the lead to 5-2. Lazar drew a bases loaded walk later in the inning to score Cawiezell and Wallace followed reaching on an error to plate Brunelli, increasing the lead to five, 7-2.
Nick Mazzone (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) settled down, moving quickly through the middle innings, taking the five-run lead into the seventh.
The Golden Eagles cut into the lead in the seventh. Rothford singled home Duffy to cut Valpo's lead to four. Oral Roberts loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but Cawiezell, who came on earlier in the inning, struck out Pat Warfle to get out of the jam. Cawiezell then finished the final six outs, working the final 2.2 innings, to complete the victory.
Mazzone (3-4) earned the win, working 6.1 innings and allowing just three runs and seven hits. Marcus Tackett (3-2) suffered the loss, lasting just 3.1 innings for the Golden Eagles.
Valparaiso (15-23, 4-4) will return home on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders host Butler in non-conference action. First pitch of the doubleheader at Emory G. Bauer Field is set for 1 p.m.