Valley Lutheran H.S.) tossed eight shutout innings of two-hit baseball in the
opener, and Valparaiso scored eight times in the
first five innings of game two on the way to a doubleheader sweep of
Arkansas-Little Rock, 2-0 and 10-8, on Sunday afternoon at Gary Hogan Field in Little Rock, Ark.
to take two out of three games in the weekend series.
Gulbransen (2-0) fanned
eight, including five in the first three innings, and allowed just a pair of
singles to Tyson Parks, one in the second and one in the seventh, to earn his
second victory of the season. He walked
just one hitter in the eighth inning while Jarad
Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) pitched a one-two-three
ninth to earn his second save of the season and 11th of his career.
“He was just awesome today,”
head coach Tracy Woodson said. “He had three pitches going and kept their
hitters off balance. He put the ball
where he wanted, when he wanted.”
All of Valpo’s offense came
in the eighth inning as Dan DeBruin
(Combined locks, Wis./Kimberly
H.S.) led off with a triple. Following a
walk to Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint
Xavier H.S.), an error on the Trojans’ shortstop allowed DeBruin to score the
first run of the game. A one-out single
by Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
H.S.) plated McCormick with an insurance run, as the Crusader hurlers would do
(Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.) had two hits for
the Crusaders as Valpo managed just five in the pitcher’s dual.
UALR starter Adam Champion
matched Gulbransen early, striking out eight of the first 11 Crusaders on his
way to nine strikeouts on the day. He
worked 5.2 innings, allowing just two hits before Gavin Gray relieved him with
two on and two out in the sixth inning.
Gray ended that inning, but proceeded to give up the two runs in the
eighth to suffer the loss (0-2).
Valpo’s offense got going in
the first of game two. McCormick and Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo
Grove H.S.) both singled with one out, and after advancing 90 feet following a
groundout, both scored on a single through the left side by Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University
The Crusaders extended the
lead to 5-0 in the fourth as Lenski and Kyle
Gaedele (Arlington Heights,
Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) singled to lead off
the inning. Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Kellogg H.S.) plated Lenski with a double to right
and Ryan Shober (Inverness, Ill./Fremd
H.S.) squeezed home Gaedele. DeBruin added a run-scoring double to score
Scoby with the final run of the inning.
In the bottom of the inning
Arkansas-Little Rock got on the scoreboard, taking advantage of a passed ball
to plate two on singles by Nate Brown and Brad Swiderski.
Valpo’s lead was increased to
8-2 in the fifth as the Brown and Gold took advantage following three Trojan
walks. Muhlsteff plated all three with a
double to the gap in right-center.
A two-run double by Tim
Emmons cut Valpo’s lead to four in the sixth, but the Crusaders took advantage
of an UALR error in the seventh to add an unearned run.
The Trojans cut Valpo’s lead
to 9-8 in the seventh with four runs, including two off of a triple by Parks. He tried to tie the game by scoring on a foul
fly out, but DeBruin gunned him down at the plate.
Valpo added another unearned
run courtesy of an error in the eighth for the final insurance tally.
H.S.) worked 5.2 innings to get the win (2-0) for the Cruusaders, allowing just
three earned runs and eight hits while striking out nine. Steve
Godawa (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) got out of the
seventh inning jam for the Crusaders and earned the save (2) working the final
2.1 innings, striking out four, including the side in the ninth.
Sean Potter (1-1) suffered
the loss for Arkansas-Little Rock (4-4), going just 3.2 innings and allowing
five runs and eight hits.
“It feels good to get the
sweep and to get off to the start we have,” Woodson added. “Our guys are excited and it gives us
confidence. The back end of our bullpen
is pretty good. We know our trip is
going to get tougher though, starting on Tuesday.”
Valpo (4-1) will head to Fayetteville, Ark.
on Tuesday afternoon to battle the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first game of a
two-game midweek series. First pitch is
set for 3:05 p.m.