Valparaiso jumped out to a 4-0 lead but Purdue fought back and
defeated the Crusaders 14-5 on Tuesday afternoon at Lambert Field in West Lafayette, Ind.,
snapping the Brown and Gold’s four-game winning streak.
Valpo registered 13 hits, the
11th time in 12 games the Crusaders have tallied at least 10 in a
game, but committed five errors defensively and left 11 runners on base.
“We hit ball well again and
had lots of scoring opportunities,” head coach Tracy Woodson said after the game.
“We just didn’t take advantage of them.”
Valpo’s bats wasted little
time warming up on the 81 degree day, as Kyle
Muhlsteff (Yorba Linda,
Calif./Esperanza H.S.) laced the
second pitch of the game into the left-centerfield gap for a double. Justin Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll
H.S.) followed with another two-bagger on a chapper that bounced over third
base to drive home Muhlsteff. Frane then
took third as leftfielder Tyler Spillner bobbled the ball in the corner. A Kyle
Gaedele (Arlington Heights,
Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) groundout plated
Frane, giving the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.
With two outs, David Klein (Aurora, Ill./Oswego
East H.S.) kept the inning alive with a double into right-center. Robbie
Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda
H.S.) chased Purdue starter Connor Sestak with a single through the left side
to score Klein, and Valpo led 3-0 before starting pitcher Austen Siwiec (Aurora,
Ill./Marmion Academy) even took
to the mound.
Siwiec worked out of a bases
loaded jam in the bottom of the first, as the Boilermakers leadoff man Spillner
reached on an error and two one walks filled the bases. The senior struck out Cameron Perkins and
induced a flyout to end the inning without surrendering a run.
The Crusaders added to their
lead in the second with one out. Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint
Xavier H.S.) doubled down the rightfield line and Muhlsteff followed with a
single through the hole on the leftside to make it 4-0 Valpo.
Three unearned runs in the
bottom of the second cut the Crusader lead to one, 4-3. With two outs, Jon Moore reached on an error
by Siwiec and following a walk to Spillner, Nick Overmyer put Purdue on the
scoreboard with a double to left-center.
Kevin Plawecki followed with a run-scoring infield single to shortstop
and Overmyer scored the third run on a wild pitch.
Purdue took the lead in the
bottom of the third. With two outs,
David Blount and Jon Moore rode the wind on back-to-back pitches, hitting solo
homers to left-center, giving the Boilermakers a 5-4 advantage.
Valpo looked to answer in the
fourth without the aid of a hit. Frane
reached base on a wild pitch despite striking out and two walks loaded the
bases with two outs. Robinson laced a line
drive to center which was caught to end the Crusader inning.
The Boilermakers added to
their lead in the fourth, as Overmyer doubled to lead off the inning and took
third on a wild pitch. A two-out pinch
hit single by Stephen Talbert plated Overmyer, increasing the Purdue lead to
6-4. Valpo threatened again in the
fifth, loading the bases with none out, but a foul out and a double play erased
Moore led off the Purdue fifth with a single and stole
second. An error moved him to third and
he scored the Boilermakers’ seventh run of the game on a sacrifice fly off of
the bat of Overlmyer.
The Crusaders found the
scoreboard again in the sixth. Gaedele
ripped a doubled that one hopped the left-centerfield wall and moved to third
on a groundout. With two outs, Robinson
singled up the middle to cut Valpo’s deficit to 7-5.
Another unearned run in the
bottom sixth allowed Purdue to regain its three run lead. Blount doubled with two outs to score
Talbert, who reached on an error with one out before stealing second. Purdue then batted around in the next
inning. In the seventh, Kevin Plawecki
delivered a two-run double for the Boilermakers to increase the advantage to
10-5. With one out, Dominick D’Agata hit
a pinch hit grand slam the opposite way, making it a nine run Purdue advantage
and close out the scoring.
Five Crusaders had two hits a
piece, with Robinson driving home two runs, the only multi-RBI player on the
team on Tuesday. Overmyer and Moore each
had three hits for Purdue (14-12), leading an offensive attack which also had
Kevin Cahill earned the win
(1-2) in relief for Purdue, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out
four. Steve Godawa (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo
Grove H.S.) suffered the loss (0-4) for the Crusaders, allowing three runs and
three hits in 1.2 innings of work.
Valparaiso (9-17) will remain on the road this weekend as the
Crusaders begin a three-game weekend series against Youngstown State. First pitch of Friday’s series opener is set
for 2 p.m. CDT at Eastwood Field in Niles,
Ohio. All three games of this weekend series can be
seen live online through the Horizon League Network.