Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Something's Gotta Give
Billy Cribbs is having perhaps the best all-around season for the Crusaders. The senior catcher has thrown out 18 would-be base stealers, and is hitting .298 on the year. (Dave Schofield)
Billy Cribbs is having perhaps the best all-around season for the Crusaders. The senior catcher has thrown out 18 would-be base stealers, and is hitting .298 on the year. (Dave Schofield)

Friday, May 03, 2013

Milwaukee (21-16, 11-4 Horizon)
at
Valparaiso (20-23, 7-8 Horizon)

Friday, May 3rd, 1:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, May 4th, 1:00 p.m. CDT
Sunday, May 5th, 1:00 p.m. CDT

Emory G. Bauer Field - Valparaiso, Indiana

This Week in Crusader Baseball: The outlook appeared bleak a week ago before Valpo awoke to pound the Wright State Raiders in all three games. Coupled with Milwaukee’s similar treatment of UIC, the sweep leapfrogged Valpo into second place in the Horizon League standings. The Brown and Gold then took care of business against Goshen College and Western Michigan to extend their winning streak to six games. While the Crusaders can not overtake first place even in a best-case scenario, they can cement themselves into the runner-up slot with a good showing this weekend.

On the Air: Live stats will be available through valpoathletics.com for all three games.

Head Coach Tracy Woodson: Tracy Woodson, the 16th head coach in Valparaiso University history, is in his seventh season at the helm of the Crusaders and has a 175-205 (.461) record both for his career as well as at Valpo. Woodson ranks third in school history for career wins by a head coach. A member of the Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 World Champion team, he has also managed in the minor leagues through the AAA level.

Probable Starters: Senior RHP Chris DeBoo (3-6, 5.03) will take the ball Friday in the first game of the set for the Crusaders. Milwaukee will counter with RHP Jake Long (6-2, 1.41). Saturday’s matchup will feature freshman LHP Dalton Lundeen (3-0, 4.24) opposite senior RHP Cale Tassi (4-5, 4.39). Panthers’ skipper Scott Doffek will call on LHP Mike Schneider (7-2, 2.98) in the series finale while Valparaiso is undecided on a starter for Sunday’s tilt.

Series Notes: Milwaukee leads the all-time series 30-18. The Panthers swept the three-game series March 29th-30th that was played at Les Miller Field in Chicago. Last season, Valpo won all six games versus Milwaukee.

Looking Back: Valparaiso finished 2012 with a 35-25 record overall and a 22-8 mark in the Horizon League. The Crusaders took first place in both the regular season and Horizon League Tournament in Chicago before they made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 44 years.

Scouting the Panthers: Milwaukee currently stands at 21-16 overall. The Panthers swept UIC last weekend in Wisconsin. Milwaukee’s last Horizon League loss came at the hands of Youngstown State on April 7th in Ohio. The Panthers have won eight straight games.

The Panthers are at the head of the class in a great number of offensive rate stats in the Horizon League. They’re 43rd in the country with a .296 batting average. A myriad of rainouts has kept Milwaukee in the middle of the pack in many of the counting stats in the Horizon League. If the season ended today, Milwaukee would more than likely be home to both the Pitcher of the Year (Jake Long) and the Player of the Year (Michael Porcaro).

Jake Long gets the ball Friday for Milwaukee. His peripherals don’t stand out, but the senior is the Horizon League ERA champ (1.41) by leaps and bounds. While Long doesn’t possess a devastating out pitch, it’s been his ability to keep the ball in the yard that has aided him most. In 63 2/3 innings pitched, he’s yielded just five extra-base hits (three doubles, two home runs). The right-hander has tossed three shutouts in 2013, one coming against the Crusaders on March 29th at Les Miller Field in Chicago. Long has a 0.89 ERA in HL play.

Valpo will face right-hander Cale Tassi Saturday. The Crusaders chased Tassi in the 6th inning of his start in Chicago at the end of March. His 4-5 record and 4.39 ERA is not what was in the crystal ball of many presesason prognosticators, but Tassi’s three wins in conference play is second-most. Tassi also leads all Milwaukee pitchers in extra-base hits allowed (15).

Junior Mike Schneider will make the start in the series finale on Sunday. The lefty possesses perhaps the best stuff of all three starting pitchers, but control has been his Achilles’ heel (37 walks in 57 1/3 IP). Schneider struck out ten Crusaders while allowing an unearned run in his last start against Valpo. He leads the Panthers in strikeouts (46), walks, and batters hit-by-pitch (10). Schneider has been excellent at shutting down the opponents’ running game, as only two baserunners have been successful in nine tries with him on the hill.

Sophomore Michael Porcaro is the odds-on favorite to take home Player of the Year honors. He leads the Horizon League in batting average (.397), hits (56), RBI (36), and is second in slugging percentage (.546), on-base percentage (.439), runs scored (32), doubles (10) and triples (3). His batting average is currently 23rd in the nation.

Head coach Scott Doffek is in his seventh season at the helm at Milwaukee, his 19th year overall with UWM. He was named Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2009 and also holds the record for most wins by a first-year coach (25). Milwaukee has finished below .500 in conference play just once under Doffek.

Et Cetera: April was a very good month for a number of Crusaders. Chris Manning went 28-for-70 last month to raise his average to .322. John Loeffler, who owns a 34-game on-base streak, boosted his average to .313 with a 26-for-68 April. Tanner Vavra scored 17 runs last month while hitting .394 (26-for-66). His .340 batting average leads all starters...closer Karch Kowalczyk has yet to allow a run this season...Ben Mahar has not allowed a run in his last seven outings spanning 12 2/3 innings...Andrew Bain is batting .405 vs. lefties, but just .232 against righties...Bryce Hara is 19-for-36 when leading off an inning...as a team, the Crusaders are batting .211 with the bases loaded, but their .277 overall batting average is now in the top half of college baseball.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana