A walk-off single by
Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights,
Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) in game one and a three-run eighth inning in the
nightcap lifted Valparaiso to a doubleheader sweep of Youngstown State on
Sunday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field.
The Crusaders won the opener 4-3 and took game two 5-2 to sweep the
weekend series and run their winning streak to eight straight games.
“I’m just ecstatic
with how we are playing right now,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “We are
doing all of the little things that we need to do to be successful.”
The Crusaders jumped
on top with a run in the first inning of the opener. Steven
Scoby (Delton, Mich./Delton Kellogg H.S.) singled with one out and moved to
third on a throwing error when Penguin starting pitcher Phil Klein threw the
ball away attempting a pick off. Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El
Toro H.S.) grounded out one batter later, but plated Scoby for the game’s first
Manning added a
lead-off single in the sixth and stole second before Will Hagel (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) delivered a
run-scoring hit to put the Brown and Gold on top 2-0.
Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) pitched
a solid ball game for the Crusaders, holding the Penguins off of the scoreboard
until the ninth. He retired eight in a
row from the sixth through eighth innings, and finished the game with eight
In the ninth,
though, Youngstown State rallied. Jeremy
Banks led off with a single and Drew Dosch reached on catcher’s
interference. After a sacrifice bunt
moved the runners up 90 feet, Karch
Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru H.S.) was summoned from the
bullpen. McCormick’s day was done after
allowing just six hits in 8.1 innings of work.
Kowalczyk struck out
Phil Lipari before pinch hitter Jonathan Crist delivered an infield single to
score Banks, making it a 2-1 game. After
a pinch-hit walk to Dan Hurlimann loaded the bases, David Leon delivered a
two-run single into left, giving Youngstown State a 3-2 lead.
Valpo fought back in
the bottom of the ninth off of reliever Kevin McCulloh. Bobby
Martin (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge H.S.) led off with a single and moved
to third on a one-out double by Michael
Morman (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic H.S.). After Andrew
Bain (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor H.S.) was hit by a pitch to load the
bases, Gaedele delivered the winning two-run single up the middle.
“We showed we don’t
quit in that opener,” Woodson said. “We
have a different attitude and different mentality right now. We are playing some really good baseball.”
Game two saw the
Crusaders again build an early lead.
Hagel tripled to lead off the second and scored one batter later on a Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olina
H.S.) double. Valpo added to the lead in
the third with an unearned run. Bain led
off with a single and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt by the pitcher
Robert Switka. Scoby laid down a perfect
squeeze bunt and the Crusaders led 2-0.
(8-25, 3-6 Horizon) got a run back in the fifth as Phil Lipari singled and
moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. After
a sacrifice bunt moved Lipari to third, Lipari scored on a single by Armani
The Penguins tied
the game in the eighth as Hurlimann led off with a single and advanced to
second on a sacrifice bunt. An infield
single by Jeremy Banks put runners on the corners before Neil Schroth delivered
a one-out double to tie the game, and put runners on second and third.
Kevin Wild (Brown Deer, Wis./Brown Deer H.S.) was called in from the bullpen to
reliever Tyler Deetjen (Saint
Charles, Ill./East H.S.) and induced a pop up and ground out to end the threat.
Deetjen finished the
day with a no decision, pitching 7.1 innings allowing just two runs and 11
hits. He did not walk anyone and struck
Valpo answered in
the bottom of the inning. Gaedele laid
down a bunt single with one out and Scoby drew a walk, chasing Switka. Manning was hit to load the bases and Hagel
put Valpo on top with a sacrifice fly to left.
Robinson then delivered some insurance with a two out double to plate a
pair of runs, giving Valpo the 5-2 advantage.
“Wild comes in and
gets us out of the jam without giving up the go ahead run, and we came right
back and scored,” Woodson added. “That
was huge for us. Gaedele really got us
going with a bunt that I think surprised some people.”
Wild earned the win
(1-0) in relief, staying on for a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Switka suffered the loss (1-5) allowing four
runs and seven hits in 7.1 innings of work.
Valparaiso (14-21, 9-3), winner in 11 of its last 13
games overall, recorded its second straight Horizon League series sweep and has
moved into second place in the Horizon League standings. The Crusaders will look for their ninth
straight victory on Monday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field, wrapping up a
five-game homestand hosting Saint Francis (Ind.). First pitch is set for 3 p.m.