Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Looks to Continue Best Start in 40 Years at Arkansas, Memphis This Week
Matt Lenski is hitting .500 thus far this season for Valpo. (Ray Acevedo)
Matt Lenski is hitting .500 thus far this season for Valpo. (Ray Acevedo)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Valparaiso (4-1, 0-0 Horizon)
Games #6-7 at Arkansas (5-1, 0-0 SEC)
Tuesday, Mar. 3, 3:05 p.m. CST - Fayetteville, Ark.
Wednesday, Mar. 4, 3:05 p.m. CST - Fayetteville, Ark.
Games #8-10 at Memphis (3-3, 0-0 C-USA)
Friday, Mar. 6, 4 p.m. CST - Memphis, Tenn.
Saturday, Mar. 7, 2 p.m. CST - Memphis, Tenn.
Sunday, Mar. 8, 1 p.m. CDT - Memphis, Tenn.

This Week in Crusader Baseball: Valparaiso continues its southern swing this week as the Crusaders play five more games in its season-opening 20-game road trip.  The Crusaders will head to Arkansas, ranked #21 by Baseball America, on Tuesday and Wednesday, before facing Memphis for a three-game weekend series.

On the Air:  Neither of the games will be broadcast live at Arkansas nor will the three game series at Memphis be carried on the air.

Pitching Rotation: John Snelten (RHP, 0-0, 3.86) will make his first start of the season for Valpo on Tuesday against the Razorbacks while Alex Berry (RHP, 0-1, 6.00) is slated to be handed the ball on Wednesday.  The weekend order has not been set, but Bryce Shafer (RHP, 2-0, 5.91) or Jon Gulbransen (LHP, 2-0, 2.08) is set to pitch on Friday, with the other starting on Saturday.  Sunday, Tyler Deetjen (LHP, 0-0, 0.00) is tentatively set to make his collegiate debut.

Wrapping Up Recent Action: The Crusaders took two out of three games against Arkansas-Little Rock to win the weekend series.  The host Trojans won the opener 5-0 on Friday night before Saturday’s game was postponed, forcing a doubleheader on Sunday.  In the opener of the twinbill, Jon Gulbransen allowed just two hits in eight innings as Valpo shutout UALR 2-0.  The Crusader offense came alive in game two, scoring eight times in the first five innings on the way to a 10-8 victory.

Gulbransen Named Pitcher of the Week: Jon Gulbransen was named the Horizon League’s Pitcher of the Week for his eight innings of shutout baseball against Arkansas-Little Rock.  The sophomore southpaw allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out eight on his way to his second victory of the season.

Pitchers Have Been Tough: Through five games, Valpo pitchers are holding opponents to just a .238 batting average.  Allowing just 38 hits in 42 innings of work, the hurlers have walked just 11 while striking out 37 opponents.

Best Start 40 Years: Valpo’s 4-1 record marks the team’s best five-game start to a season since 1969 when that team also began the year with the same record.  In 1969, the team went on to post an 8-1 mark in the first nine games on the way to finishing the season 18-4, sharing the Indiana Collegiate Conference title with a 7-1 mark, and making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Emory G. Bauer.

Getting On Base: While the Crusader hitters have just a .255 batting average early in the season, they have been patient at the plate.  Valpo has drawn 22 walks and been hit by six pitches through five games for a team on base percentage of .363.

Miller Keeps Moving Up: Sophomore Jarad Miller earned his second save of the season for the Brown and Gold against Arkansas-Little Rock, pitching a scoreless ninth in game one of the doubleheader.  The save was the 11th of his career, moving him past Dallas Cawiezell into third place on the saves list.  Justin Craker ranks second with 13 career saves while Adam Knobel holds the school record with 14 saves.

Scoby Producing Early: Freshman Steven Scoby has hit .385 in four starts in the outfield for the Brown and Gold thus far this season.  The rookie is tied for the team lead with five hits, leads the team with five runs batted in, and has scored three times while slugging at a .692 clip.

Godawa and Shafer Shine on the Mound: Steve Godawa picked up his second career save, and second save of the season, in game two of the twinbill on Sunday with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work.  Bryce Shafer earned his second win of the year in the nightcap as well, and now has six victories in just over a year with Valpo.

Bettering Last Season: The Crusaders doubleheader sweep of Arkansas-Little Rock was the second twinbill Valpo has won this year.  In 2008, the Brown and Gold swept just one doubleheader the entire season.  The Crusaders also have won four of their first five games while not winning game number four until the 18th game of last season.

Muhlsteff Has Big Twinbill: Kyle Muhlsteff drove home four runs in the doubleheader sweep of UALR on Sunday afternoon.  He had a three-run double to key the game two victory.

Valpo Tabbed Fifth: The Crusaders were picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League preseason poll, according to the league’s head coaches.  Valpo finished sixth in the regular season last year, but placed third in the Horizon League Tournament.  UIC is this year’s preseason favorite.

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo