to Horizon League play at Emory G. Bauer Field on Saturday afternoon and split
a doubleheader against Butler. The
Bulldogs rallied with six unearned runs in the seventh inning of game one to
win 8-6 before the Crusaders took the night cap 11-4.
“I was disappointed
we didn’t win both games today,” head coach Tracy Woodson said afterwards.
“That said I was pleased with the way we bounced back in game two after
giving away the opener. We scored early
and continued to add on.”
Valpo jumped on top
in game two with the first pitch thrown in the bottom of the first inning. Kyle
Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) led the game off
with a home run to left to put the Brown and Gold on top. Steven
Scoby (Delton, Mich./Delton Kellogg H.S.) and Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro H.S.) followed with
back-to-back singles before Will Hagel
(Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) delivered a sacrifice fly. After Manning stole second, Robby Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda
H.S.) added a single to right-center, giving the Crusaders a 3-0 first inning
The Crusaders added
on in the third, sending 12 batters to the plate. Scoby led off with a double and scored on a
Manning single. Hagel put runners on
second and third with a ground-rule double and Robinson followed with a two-run
double to the right-centerfield gap.
After Bobby Martin (Crystal
Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge H.S.) reached on a bunt single, Michael Morman (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic H.S.) squeezed home
Robinson, increasing the lead to 7-0. Andrew Bain (Indianapolis, Ind./Park
Tudor H.S.) followed with a RBI single, and after a walk to Gaedele, Scoby
delivered his second hit of the inning to make it 9-0 Valpo.
That would be all the
offense starting pitcher Damon McCormick
(Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) would need.
He retired 13 straight Bulldogs from the third through the seventh
innings as Valpo maintained its lead.
A two-run home run
by Robinson to left in the six made it 11-0 Crusaders, and capped Robinson’s
3-for-5 game with five runs batted in.
Butler (16-20, 5-9
Horizon) finally cracked the scoreboard with two outs in the top of the
seventh. Three straight hits, including
a double by Patrick Guinane and a single by Kyle Waggoner, plated two
runs. The Bulldogs added two more runs
in the eight as Nick Hladek drew a bases loaded walk and Marcos Calderon added
a sacrifice fly.
seven innings for the win (4-5), allowing just two runs and four hits while
walking one and striking out six. Kyle
Kramp suffered the loss (2-3) for the Bulldogs, allowing seven runs and nine
hits in the first two innings.
Scoby had three hits
along with Robinson while Manning added two more and walked twice as part of
Valpo’s 13-hit attack in the night cap.
The opener, a
seven-inning game, saw the Crusaders jump on top in the third. Bain doubled with one out and scored on a
two-out two-bagger by Scoby. Manning
followed with a RBI single, making it 2-0 Valpo.
Butler tied the game
in the top of the fourth on a two-run homer by Michael Letzter before a two-run
double by Hagel in the fifth put the Crusaders back on top by two, a lead they
would enjoy until the seventh.
In the seventh,
Butler sent 11 men to the plate and took advantage of three Crusader errors to
score six times on just four hits. A
two-run single by Letzter put the Bulldogs in front and Butler added to the
lead on a wild pitch and the third error of the inning.
Trailing by four
heading to the bottom of the seventh, Valpo fought back. Scoby reached on a dropped pop up and moved
to third on a single by Manning, his fourth hit of the game. After another error on a pick-off attempt at
first, Scoby scored and Manning raced around to third. Martin delivered a run-scoring single to cut
the deficit to 8-6 with two outs. After
another dropped pop up put the tying run on base, Brian Padove finally got the
Bulldogs out of the jam to record his second save of the year.
Manning went 4-for-4
in the opener with two runs scored, giving him six hits on the day. He reached on each of his first eight plate
appearances of the afternoon.
“Chris has hit ball
hard for us all year,” Woodson said. “He
finally found the holes and was rewarded for it today.”
Scoby and Bain each
added two hits for Valpo in the opener, with Scoby also scoring three
times. Letzter had three hits for Butler
as each team finished with 11 hits total.
Justin Frane (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) suffered the
loss (2-2) for the Crusaders, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing five runs, only
two of which were earned. He gave up
nine hits but struck out seven and walked just one. Dom Silvestri earned the win (4-3) for the
Bulldogs, pitching six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits.
10-4) will wrap up the four-game homestand on Sunday afternoon hosting
Cleveland State in doubleheader action.
First pitch is set for noon.