Jason Brunelli (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.) homered twice on Tuesday evening, but Valparaiso could not overcome four errors defensively and 11 walks from the pitching staff as Iowa defeated the Crusaders 13-5 in Iowa City, Iowa.
Jeff Greco (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) put Valpo on the scoreboard first with a two-out double in the second that scored Andrew Quinnette (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.).
Iowa took advantage of a pair of Valpo errors in the bottom of the inning, scoring five times on four hits. A two-run single by Justin Toole started the scoring, and the Hawkeyes also plated two runs on a wild pitch and an error.
Brunelli’s first homerun of the day in the fourth cut Valpo’s deficit to three, but Iowa (20-27) scored three more times in the bottom of the frame, two of which came on a single by Ben Geelan.
The hosts added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh on a two-run homer by Kurtis Muller to open up an 11-2 lead. Valpo scored another run in the eighth on a bases loaded walk to Joe Lazar (Traverse City, Mich./Central H.S.), but stranded the bases loaded without adding any more runs.
After Iowa added two more in the bottom of the eighth, Brunelli hit a two-run blast to left to close out the scoring, his fifth round-tripper of the season.
Brunelli, Greco, and John Giusti (Coventry, R.I./Coventry H.S.) each had two hits a piece for the Brown and Gold, but Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic HS.) went 0-for-4 snapping his hitting streak at 24 straight games.
Toole had three hits and three runs batted in to pace the Hawkeyes 13-hit attack.
Jeff Pacha earned the win (1-0) for Iowa while Jon Gulbransen (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) suffered the loss (2-7) for the Crusaders.
Valparaiso (16-29) will wrap up the home portion of the schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 12 p.m. doubleheader against Youngstown State. The Crusaders will honor the nine seniors on the squad prior to the game at Emory G. Bauer Field.