Valparaiso wrapped up its 10-game homestand on Sunday afternoon
with a 6-5 victory over Saint Francis (Ind.)
at Emory G. Bauer Field.
The Crusaders used a five-run
sixth inning to take control of the game, then held off a late Cougars rally to
improve to 10-3 at home this season.
Saint Francis (27-16) jumped
out to an early 2-0 lead in the third inning.
After a lead-off walk, Travis Potchka tripled in the first run of the
game and later scored on a two-out double by Taylor Futterknecht.
Valpo cut its deficit in half
in the bottom of the third. After
back-to-back singles by Damon McCormick
Xavier H.S.) and Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling
Meadows H.S.), the pair moved to second and third on a double steal. Dan
DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly
H.S.) then plated McCormick with a sacrifice fly.
Cougars’ starter Tristen
Peffley (0-1) stifled Valpo early, allowing just one run and five hits through
five innings of work.
“This game was frustrating,”
head coach Tracy Woodson said. “We didn’t have good at bats for the most
part, just giving them away.”
Valpo’s Tyler Deetjen (Saint
H.S.) also went five innings, just allowing the two runs and four hits, but did
not figure in the decision.
“Deetjen kept the ball down
today and threw strikes,” Woodson added.
He needs to do so to be effective.”
The Crusaders got to Peffley
in the sixth, batting around and taking advantage of a couple of Cougar
errors. Matt Lenski (Milwaukee,
Wis./Marquette University H.S.)
doubled to straight away center to tie the game. After Josh
Wallace (Bellefountaine, Ohio/Bellefountaine
H.S.) singled Lenski to third, Ryan
O’Gara (Buffalo Grove,
Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.), who extended his
hitting streak to seven, singled him home.
Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
H.S.) and McCormick added RBI singles to increase the lead to 5-0, and
Muhlsteff eventually scored on a throwing error to complete the Valpo scoring.
Saint Francis rallied late,
scoring a run in the seventh on a hit by Jon Saporsantos and added two more in
the eighth as the Crusader relief corps hit two batters and walked two more to
plate to plate a pair of runners.
(Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) earned the win (2-0) for
the Crusaders in relief while Peffley suffered the loss (0-1), eventually
surrendering all six runs, five of which were earned, and nine hits in six
innings of work. Jarad Miller (Fort Wayne,
Ind./Carroll H.S.) earned his
ninth save of the season.
Lenski, Wallace, McCormick, O'Gara
and Gaedele all had two hits a piece for the Crusaders as part of a 12-hit
attack. Futterknecht and John Schlichter
each went 2-for-5 for Saint Francis.
Valparaiso (18-17) will head to the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind.
on Tuesday evening to battle Purdue in a 7 p.m. contest. The game will be carried live on WVUR
and online at www.valpoathletics.com.