Valparaiso bounced back from
an opening game 9-4 loss at Gardner-Webb to post a 10-4 victory in the night
cap as the Crusaders took the series from the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at
Sims Legion Park in Gastonia, N.C.
“We played pretty well again
today,” head coach Tracy Woodson
said. “Both starters pitched well and we
got a lot of key hits with two outs when men were in scoring position. In the second game we kept building on our
lead which is something we didn’t do the first game.”
H.S.) went eight innings in game two, allowing just one run and six hits while
striking out nine and walking just three to pick up the win (2-1). Ryan
O’Gara (Buffalo Grove,
Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) led five Crusaders
with multi-hit efforts, tallying three hits as Valpo had 12 in the game.
O’Gara started the Valpo
scoring leading off the second with a homerun to right and Billy Cribbs (Rochester,
Mich./Rochester H.S.) added a
sacrifice fly in the inning to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.
A Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) single in the third drove home
Kyle Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza H.S.), who doubled, and
then scored on a double by O’Gara. Justin
Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) followed with a base hit
to increase the advantage to 5-0 after two-and-a-half innings.
Gardner-Webb (6-10) got on
the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on a homer by Adam McFarland, the
only run Shafer would allow on the afternoon.
Valpo added five runs in the
seventh to secure the victory. A
Muhlsteff double and Gaedele single plated the first two runs and Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olina
H.S.) added the third run with a single.
Cribbs added his second and third RBIs of the game with a two-out double
to make the score 10-1 Valpo.
The Bulldogs scored three
times in the ninth, two on a single by Daniel Merck followed by a run-scoring
single by Aaron Miller, but the rally came too late.
Muhlsteff, Gaedele, Frane,
and Cribbs each had two-hit games for the Crusaders and Valpo knocked starter
Matt Liedberg (0-1) out of the game after just 2.1 innings, allowing five runs
and five hits.
In the opener, Valpo also
jumped in front early, only to see Gardner-Webb score nine of the last 10 runs
to rally for the victory. Gaedele’s
two-run homer in the third also scored Damon
McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) and gave the
Crusaders the lead.
A Frane double in the fifth
made it 3-0 Crusaders before the Bulldogs tied it in the sixth with three
runs. A two-run double by Stefan Morris
tied the game with two outs.
Valpo retook the lead in the
top of the seventh as a McCormick single scored Paul Heinkel (Fond du Lac,
Academy). The lead did not last long
though, as a grand slam in the bottom of the inning by Ty Boyles put
Gardner-Webb on top for good. The
Bulldogs added two insurance runs in the eighth to secure the victory.
(Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran H.S.) started on
the mound for Valpo, working six innings and allowing three runs while fanning
five. Steve Godawa (Buffalo
Grove H.S.) suffered the loss (0-2) in relief.
(3-1) earned the win in relief for the Bulldogs.
Robinson and McCormick each
had three hits in the opener while Gaedele also had two for a multi-hit game.
Valparaiso (5-12) will return to the diamond on Friday afternoon
to start a three-game weekend series.
First pitch is set for 3 p.m. in Cape