Valparaiso won the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader against Butler 10-5 at Bulldog
Park in Indianapolis, Ind.,
but the host Bulldogs rallied to take the series finale, defeating the
Crusaders 5-2 in game two of the twinbill.
In the opener, Valpo came out
swinging the bats from the opening inning.
Eight of the nine batters in the lineup had at least one hit as the
Crusaders pounded out 14 on the afternoon.
Josh Wallace (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.) drove home three runs while Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Kellogg H.S.) registered three hits.
“We swung the bats well in
game one again today,” head coach Tracy
Woodson said. “(Jon) Gulbransen
pitched well, making just one mistake.”
The duo got things going in
the opening inning as Scoby tripled and with two outs Wallace hit his fifth
homerun of the season to right field.
Xavier H.S.) added a run in the fourth on a single up the middle to score Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling
Meadows H.S.), and a RBI groundout in the fifth increased the lead to 4-0.
Butler got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth with
a double by Bobby Mosser, but the Crusaders extended their advantage in the
seventh. After two walks to lead off the
inning, Wallace laced a single that scored Scoby. Ryan
O’Gara (Buffalo Grove,
Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) added a run-scoring
single up the middle and McCormick also plated a run singling through the right
Michael Letzler hit a two-run
homer for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the seventh to bring the hosts within
7-3, but that would be as close as Butler
O’Gara and Gaedele both added
RBI singles in the eighth and Scoby had a run-scoring single in the ninth as
the Crusaders tallied double digit runs for the second time in the weekend
Butler added single runs in the eighth and ninth, but Jared Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll
H.S.) came on in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and got two
strikeouts to earn his third save of the season.
(Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) earned the
win (3-2), pitching seven innings allowing just three runs and six hits while
fanning five. Jeff Sinkiewicz suffered
the loss (0-3) for Butler,
allowing four runs and five hits in just 4.1 innings of work.
Butler (2-16, 1-2 Horizon League) scored first in the
nightcap, plating a run in the second on a ground out. A RBI single by Steve Kaffel and a sacrifice
fly increased the Bulldog run to 3-0 in the fifth. Grant Fillipitch homered in the sixth and
Alex Montagano followed with a triple and eventually scored on a two-out hit by
The Crusaders broke through
in the eighth with three straight singles to load the bases. Ryan
Shober (Inverness, Ill./Fremd
H.S.), who went 2-for-3 in the game, scored on a wild pitch to bring Valpo
within 5-1. Another walk reloaded the
bases with one out, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Scoby plated Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.).
Valpo could not plate another
run in the inning. In the ninth, the
Crusaders also put a pair of runners on via walks, but a double play helped the
Bulldogs earn the win.
“We rallied late in game two,
scoring a couple of runs and putting a couple of guys on base,” Woodson
said. “We just ran out of time.”
Jamie Feldheiser earned the
win (1-0) for Butler,
not allowing a run and surrendering just three hits in six innings of
work. Tyler Szymczak came on for the final
three innings for his first save of the year.
Alex Berry (Olney, Ill./East Richland H.S.) suffered the loss
(0-3), allowing five runs, three of which were earned, and seven hits in 5.1
innings of work.
Valparaiso (7-11, 2-1) will have nearly a week off before
opening the 2009 home campaign at Emory G. Bauer Field next Friday to begin a
three-game weekend series with Milwaukee. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.