Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Late Crusader Rally Falls One Run Short in Home Opener
Kyle Muhlsteff went 3-for5 with 2 RBIs on Thursday. (Rick Cochran)
Kyle Muhlsteff went 3-for5 with 2 RBIs on Thursday. (Rick Cochran)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Valparaiso scored three times in the ninth inning with two outs and had both the tying and winning runs on base, but could not knot the score on Thursday afternoon in the Crusaders’ home opener, falling to Milwaukee 6-5 at Emory G. Bauer Field.

Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the eight, Valpo left the bases loaded without scoring in the frame and surrendered a run in the ninth before trying to mount its comeback.

Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Kellogg H.S.) led off with a walk and Ryan Shober (Inverness, Ill./Fremd H.S.) followed suit with a one-out free pass before Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) hit into a fielder’s choice in the hole at short that retired Scoby at third.  With two outs, Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.), who went 3-for-5 on the day, laced a two-run triple off the leftfield wall to bring the Crusaders within two, 6-4.

Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.) followed with a single up the middle to plate Muhlsteff and keep the inning alive.  Josh Wallace (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.), the potential winning run, walked to put runners on first and second.  Milwaukee went to the bullpen to bring in Lucas Annen, who retired pinch hitter Ranko Ivetic (Highland, Ind./Andrean H.S.) on a long foul fly out down the leftfield line.

“We got the right guys up in the eighth and ninth with Lenski and Wallace,” head coach Tracy Woodson said.  “We knew we had a chance.  We just have to find other avenues for big hits now.”

Valpo struck first in the opening inning as Wallace doubled high off the right-centerfield wall to plate Muhlsteff, who reached on a one-out single.  The Panthers tied the game on a Tim Patzman RBI single in the top of the second and took the lead in the fourth.  Following a single and a balk, Josh Groves hit a sharp single up the middle to plate Cole Kraft and eventually scored on a Shaun Wegner single into right.  Groves added the fourth run for Milwaukee in the fifth with a double to left, giving the Panthers a 4-1 lead.

Panther starter Brad Lusti retired nine straight from the second through fourth innings before giving up back-to-back hits in the fifth.  Valpo touched him for another run in the sixth as Lenski doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) ground out.

Milwaukee added a run in the seventh on a Kraft sacrifice fly and tacked on the final insurance run in the ninth on a single up the middle by Doug Dekoning.

Lusti earned the win (1-2) for Milwaukee, working 7.1 innings and allowing just two runs and seven hits.  He struck out six and walked just one, his final batter of the game. 

“He (Lusti) hit his spots and got ahead of hitters,” Woodson said.  We weren’t aggressive enough against him early at the plate.”

Jon Gulbransen (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) allowed five runs and nine hits in 6.1 innings to suffer the loss (3-3), but did fan six and walk just one.

Besides Muhlsteff, Lenski was the only other Crusader with two hits as Valpo had 10 on the afternoon.

Valparaiso (7-12, 2-2 Horizon) and Milwaukee (5-13, 1-0) will wrap up their weekend series on Friday with a doubleheader at Emory G. Bauer Field.  The start time for game one has been moved up to 11 a.m. with Alex Berry (Olney, Ill./East Richland H.S.) and Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Wabash H.S.) slated to pitch for the Crusaders against Kyle Schmidt and Andy Hetebrueg.

Game Notes: Lenski now leads Valpo in batting with a .426 average … Wallace and Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) each extended their hitting streak to six straight games … this was Muhlsteff’s second three-hit game of the season and fifth multi-RBI contest … Wallace now leads the team with 17 runs batted in … the Crusaders did not commit an error for the ninth time in 19 games this season.

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
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
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
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
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 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
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
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
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana