Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Back in the Championship Game with 6-4 Win over Milwaukee
Play Video Spencer Mahoney went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored in Valpo's 6-4 win over Milwaukee Saturday in the Horizon League Conference Tournament. (Ray Acevedo)
Spencer Mahoney went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored in Valpo's 6-4 win over Milwaukee Saturday in the Horizon League Conference Tournament. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Valpo took advantage of some first inning Milwaukee jitters as a five-run first inning catapulted the Crusaders back into the Horizon League Championship Game.

Andrew Bain, the game's first batter, led things off with a single to left field. Bryce Hara flew out to right field for the first out. The next five batters reached as the Crusaders were beneficiaries of a wild pitch, two errors and a mental lapse. 

Tanner Vavra hit an infield single coupled with a throwing error that allowed Bain to move to third base. With runners on the corners, Tassi threw an egregiously wild pitch that sent catcher Mitch Ghelfi to the backstop. Bain beat the toss from the catcher to Tassi at the plate for the Crusaders' second run. Vavra caught Tassi napping as he raced around to third base on the play while the pitcher had his head down.

John Loeffler took a 3-2 curve ball in the backside to create another runners-on-the-corners situation. The Crusaders put the safety squeeze on with Chris Manning at the plate. The right fielder bunted the delivery towards the first base side of the pitcher's mound. Tassi casually shoveled the ball towards home as Vavra slid around Ghelfi's leg.

Spencer Mahoney worked his 29th walk of the season to load the bases with one out. Elliott Martin hit a made-to-order double play ball to third base but Koenig airmailed the throw home for his second error of the inning. Loeffler scored on the miscue to extend the Valpo lead to 3-0.

Tassi got ahead 1-2 on Billy Cribbs before the Valpo catcher sent a pop up towards foul territory. Milwaukee second baseman Michael Porcaro made a running catch towards the seats which allowed Manning to come home and make it 4-0.

Mark Johnson drew a walk before Bain smacked his second single of the inning to left field. 

Tassi recorded two outs and threw 39 pitches in the calamitous top of the first inning before head coach Scott Doffek pulled him in favor of left-hander Tyler Thicke.

Thicke got the Panthers out of the bases-loaded jam with one pitch as he coaxed a tapper back to the mound off the bat of Hara for the third out of the 21-minute frame. 

With a five-run cushion, Valpo starter Chris DeBoo attacked the Panther lineup, effectively working both sides of the plate while sprinkling in sharp breaking balls. The senior scattered seven hits and one run in seven innings on the hill. DeBoo's only hiccup came in the sixth when Ghelfi doubled down the line to plate Porcaro.

The Panthers made things interesting in the eighth inning as they pushed two runs across against Ben Mahar before bringing the tying run to the plate. 

Head coach Tracy Woodson called on Karch Kowalczyk for the four-out save. Kowalczyk induced an infield pop-up from Derek Peake, the first man he faced, but Mahoney lost the ball in the sun and it fell for a hit. Koenig scored from second on the play to make it a 6-4 game.

Kowalczyk worked around an error and a walk in the ninth inning for his 11th save of the season.

Valpo (30-26) advances to the Championship Game of the Horizon League Tournament Sunday morning at 11:00am ET/10:00am CT at Eastwood Field. The Crusaders will face the winner of Milwaukee and Wright State. Either team will have to beat Valpo twice for the Horizon League crown and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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