Valparaiso got solid starting pitching in both games of Sunday’s doubleheader against Cal State Northridge, and managed a split of the twinbill winning the opener 2-1 before falling 5-2 in the nightcap at Matador Field in Northridge, Calif.
Tyler Deetjen (Saint Charles, Ill./East H.S.) went the distance in the opener, a seven-inning game, allowing just one run and four hits while fanning three and not walking any Matador hitters. Justin Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) also went seven strong innings in his first collegiate start, allowing just six hits. He allowed all five runs in the game, three of which were unearned.
“We got great efforts from both Deetjen and Frane today,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “They threw strikes which is the key. Unfortunately the error in the three-run third proved costly for us in game two.”
The opener was all Deetjen. The Crusaders got him his two runs of support in the fourth. Steven Scoby (Delton, Mich./Delton Kellogg H.S.) and Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) led off with back-to-back singles, Valpo’s only two hits of the game. Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) walked to load the bases and back-to-back sacrifice flies by Will Hagel (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) and Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru H.S.) plated the only two runs of the contest.
Deetjen allowed just one Northridge hit through four innings and was touched for the lone run in the fifth. Justine De Marco doubled with one out and Marty Bowen singled him home one batter later, but that was the only run the junior would surrender on his way to his first career complete game.
Deetjen earned his first win (1-1) of the season while Vincent Roberts was suffered the loss (0-2), allowing just two runs and two hits while striking out seven in six innings of work.
Valpo jumped on top in game two as well, as the Crusaders have now scored first in all six games this season. Corey Thibault (Tustin, Calif./Foothill H.S.) led off the inning being hit by a pitch and Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro H.S.) followed with a single. Gaedele then extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games and his on base streak to 17 in a row with a run-scoring single to plate Thibault with the game’s first run. After Bobby Martin (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge H.S.) walked to load the bases, Kowalczyk drew a bases loaded free pass for his second RBI of the day.
Northridge answered in the bottom of the third with three unearned runs. A throwing error plated two Matador runs, with the third eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly, giving the hosts the lead. Frane did not allow another run until the seven as a walk, a triple, and a single, all with two outs, gave Northridge a pair of insurance tallies.
Manning finished game two 3-for-5 with the runs scored for Valpo while Gaedele added two more hits. Scoby had his hitting streak snapped at 10 games in the night cap as he went hitless.
Alex Muren earned the win (1-0) for the Matadors, pitching two scoreless innings of relief, while Josh Goossen-Brown earned his first save of the season, striking out six. Frane suffered the loss (0-1).
Valparaiso (1-5) and Cal State Northridge (4-3) will wrap up the four-game series on Monday afternoon, making up one of the rain outs from earlier in the weekend with first pitch slated for 4 p.m. CST.