Valparaiso got two solid starting pitching performances and hit
five homeruns on the afternoon as the Crusaders opened the 2009 season with a
doubleheader sweep of Morehead State, 6-5 and 8-5, at Allen Field in Morehead, Ky.
on Saturday. The Crusaders have opened
the season 2-0 for the first time since 1997.
“It’s great to start the
season with two wins,” head coach Tracy
Woodson said. “We got two great
starting pitching performances and had guys swing the bats well. It’s a tough place to play with the short
The host Eagles opened the
scoring in the second inning of game one, on a homer by Michael Bottoms, the
first of 10 long balls on the day with both teams utilizing the short porch in
both right and right-center fields.
Valpo responded in the fourth
with an unearned run scoring on a double play ground out. Morehead
State answered in the
bottom of the inning with three runs, including back-to-back blasts to lead off
(Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.) tied the game in
the fifth with the first of two homers for the junior. His three-run shot plated Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks,
Wis./Kimberly H.S.) and Matt Lenski
(Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.), both of whom had walked to lead
off the inning.
Lenski added a homer of his
own in the sixth to put the Crusaders on top 5-4 and Wallace’s second homer of
the game an inning later increased the lead to two.
Morehead State added
a run in the eighth, but Jarad Miller
(Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) came in for the final two
outs of the inning and pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 10th
career save, moving him into a tie for third on Valpo’s all-time list.
H.S.) went five innings to earn the victory (1-0), allowing four runs and five
hits while striking out four. Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo
Grove H.S.) went 3-for-5 for the
Crusaders to pace Valpo’s 11-hit attack.
Bottoms went 4-for-5 with a homer to lead the Eagles.
The night cap saw Valpo jump
on top in the second with a RBI single by Billy Cribbs (Rochester, Mich./Rochester H.S.) and a sacrifice fly
off the bat of Steven Scoby (Delton,
The Eagles scored three times
in the fifth, all on a homer by Lucas Bainer, to take the lead, but the
Crusaders answered with six runs in the sixth.
Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) led off the inning with a
homer. Scoby hit a three-run shot in the
inning while Andrew Quinnette (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo
H.S.) also had a RBI single.
Morehead State scored twice in the bottom of the seven on a two-run
homer by Daniel Pugh to close out the scoring.
Scoby finished the game with
four runs batted in while Quinnette, Cribbs, and Damon McCormick (Louisville,
Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) had two
hits each as part of a nine-hit effort by the Crusaders. Bottoms finished 3-for-4 for Morehead State.
(Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) went five
innings for the victory (1-0), walking just one and allowing seven hits while
striking out four and allowing just three runs.
Valparaiso (2-0) and Morehead
State (0-2) will wrap up
their three-game weekend set on Sunday afternoon with a single game beginning
at 12 p.m. CST at Allen Field.
Game Notes: Valpo
committed just one error in the two games … DeBruin had a hit in game one of
the doubleheader to extend his hitting streak to 17 games dating back to last
season, only to have it end in game two.