Valparaiso’s bats came alive early on a cold, rainy Monday afternoon as the Crusaders scored nine times in the first three innings and went on to defeat Grace 12-0 at Emory G. Bauer Field.
With the victory, the Crusaders move back to .500 with their fifth straight win to make it a perfect 5-0 homestand.
“We swung the bats fine today and took advantage of their mistakes,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “Our pitchers threw strikes with is a big key for us.”
The bats got started early as the Crusaders scored three times in the opening inning. Matt Lenski (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University H.S.), who went 3-for-3 with five runs batted in before being lifted after three innings, doubled home two runs. Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) added a sacrifice fly.
The Crusaders scored four more runs in the second, two on a double by Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Ky./Kimberly H.S.) and another on a single by Lenski. O’Gara singled home the fourth run of the inning as the Crusaders batted around.
Lenski’s two-run single in the third made it 9-0 Crusaders. Ranko Ivetic (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) added a single in the sixth which ultimately scored Josh Wallace (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine H.S.) on a fielding error by the left fielder. Andrew Quinnette (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.) added a run-scoring double and a double play ground out completed the scoring.
“It was good we scored early to give us the chance to play nearly everyone,” added Woodson.
Ivetic also went 2-for-2 on the day as Valpo banged out 13 hits on the afternoon.
Steve Godawa (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.), the first of six Valpo pitchers, earned the victory (2-0), tossing two scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. Chay Bailey suffered the loss (2-2) for Grace (5-29), allowing seven runs, five hits, and three walks in two innings of work.
Valparaiso (15-15) will look for its sixth straight victory on Tuesday as the Crusaders head to Fort Wayne to face IPFW. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CDT.