Despite jumping out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, Valparaiso was unable to maintain its advantage and dropped the final game of its weekend series with Indiana State 8-5 on Sunday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind.
Mark Schoeck (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.) hit his first collegiate homerun, a two-run shot with one out in the opening inning to put the Crusaders on the board.
Valpo added to its lead in the second. Josh Piazza (Glenview, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) singled home Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) and eventually scored on Dan Portschy's (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central H.S.) double. Schoeck brought home his third run of the game, drawing a bases loaded walk to put the Crusaders in front 5-0.
Indiana State (13-12) scored three times in the third and three more in the fourth to take the lead. Two more unearned runs in the eighth turned out to be insurance tallies as the Sycamores won the weekend series three games to one.
Piazza went 3-for-4 for the Brown and Gold as the Crusaders banged out 11 hits on the afternoon. Chris Schmidt led the Sycamores with three hits and three runs batted in while Ryan Strausborger went 3-for-4 with three runs scored.
Adam Lindsay (1-3) earned the win in relief for Indiana State, working six innings not allowing a run. Harvey Yergin (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy suffered the loss (0-4) for the Crusaders, working five innings allowing six runs, five of which were earned.
Valparaiso (5-15) will return to the diamond on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Indianapolis, Ind. to battle future Horizon League foe Butler. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. CDT at Victory Field. In other scheduling news, the Crusaders will now play a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon against Robert Morris (Ill.) beginning at 1 p.m. instead of the previously scheduled single game.