Valparaiso University’s Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) and Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) have been named the Horizon League’s Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively after leading the Crusaders to a series win against Hawai’i over the weekend.
Gaedele batted .429 for the week (6-for-14) which also included a home win against Saint Francis (Ind.) to start the week. He scored six times, recorded a triple, a home run, and was walked six times, including twice intentionally. The junior outfielder posted a .619 on base percentage and a .786 slugging percentage. He also stole a pair of bases.
In the series opener against the Rainbows, the Western Athletic Conference leader, Gaedele went 3-for-5 with a home run, three runs batted in, and two runs scored. He also threw out the would-be tying run in the top of the ninth to preserve an 8-7 Crusader victory. Gaedele also went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and two runs scored in the series finale.
Gaedele is batting .336 on the season, ninth in the Horizon League, with four homers, 11 doubles, and 29 runs batted in. He leads the conference with 36 runs scored and 19 stolen bases.
McCormick pitched the Crusaders to the win on Saturday evening as Valpo defeated the Rainbows 7-2 in the series finale. The senior right-hander struck out 10 Hawai’i hitters in eight innings, allowing just two runs and four hits in front of a sellout crowd of 4,494. He did not allow a hit after surrendering a lead-off triple in the third.
On the season McCormick is 3-5 with a 4.00 ERA. He leads the Horizon League with 72 innings pitched and is second in the conference with 66 strikeouts.
Valparaiso (17-22, 9-3 Horizon) leads the Horizon League entering this week’s action. The Crusaders host Purdue at Emory G. Bauer Field on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. before entertaining Butler and Cleveland State in a pair of conference doubleheaders beginning at noon on Saturday and Sunday respectively.