Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusader Bats Carry Valpo to Series-Clinching Win
Andrew Bynum scored a pair of runs and drove in three Saturday versus Samford. (Ray Acevedo)
Andrew Bynum scored a pair of runs and drove in three Saturday versus Samford. (Ray Acevedo)
Valparaiso (2-0)
at
Samford (0-2)
2/15/2014 | Birmingham, Ala. | Attendance: 453
123456789RHE
Valparaiso30003102211122
Samford0130103008112
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Yoder (1-0) 1.200002
Loss: Terry (0-1) 1.002222
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Mahoney (VALPO) 533210
Manning (VALPO) 523210
Martin (SAM) 423110
Quinn (SAM) 523300

Saturday, February 15, 2014

It wasn't until Game No. 35 last year that the Crusaders managed to put up double-digit runs in a game. This year's version wasted little time as the offense flexed its muscles en route to an 11-8 win over Samford in Homewood, Alabama on Saturday. Four players finished with multiple runs batted in while Bryce Yoder (Spencerville, Ind./Eastside) worked out of a tense situation for his first college win. Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) earned the save for the second straight day thanks to a scoreless bottom of the 9th.

Valpo again gave its starting pitcher some breathing room with a crooked number in the top of the 1st. Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) got the ball rolling with another game-opening walk. Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) beat out an infield single that moved Mahoney into scoring position.

Andrew Bynum (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View [Orange Coast CC]) ripped a single to left that scored Mahoney. Manning and Bynum both advanced into scoring position following a Michael Morman (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) infield ground out. With one away, Kowalczyk laced a double to center that allowed the two seniors to coast home, giving Valpo a 3-0 lead.

Samford got into the run column in the second frame when a Caleb Bryson two-out double plated Drew McWhorter. McWhorter, the leadoff man in the inning, reached when he was hit by a Drew Hasler (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) delivery. 

The Bulldog offense continued its prowess in their half of the third inning. A leadoff two-bagger off the bat of outfielder T.J. Dixon opened the frame before three more Samford hits brought in three runs. 

Trailing 4-3 after three innings, Valpo was forced to play from behind for the first time. The deficit didn't last long, however.

Mark Johnson (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) led off the top half of the 5th with a walk before a wild pitch and passed ball advanced the Crusader center fielder to third base with nobody out.

Manning moved to 2-for-2 on the day with a game-tying RBI single to left center. The single signaled an end to Samford starter Alex Ledford's afternoon. Manning promptly stole second off Bulldog reliever Jared Brasher to scoot into scoring position. Bynum corked a double to center that brought in the Valpo right fielder.

Kowalczyk was issued a free pass after Bynum moved up 90 feet following a wild pitch. Senior Andy Burns (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville [Heartland CC]) put Valpo ahead 6-4 when he went opposite field with a single to plate Bynum.

Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) came on in relief in the 5th after Hasler issued a walk to the leadoff man. Foreman walked the first man he faced before coaxing a double play off the bat of Heath Quinn. McWhorter came through for Samford with a two-out basehit to left. The RBI cut Valpo's lead in half.

The Crusaders got the run right back in their next at bat thanks to a Spencer Mahoney RBI double. Freshman Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) touched home after he led off the frame with a single up the middle.

Valpo relinquished its second lead of the ballgame in a rocky bottom of the 7th. With two men on base, Quinn shot a double to right center field that tied the game at 7-7. Infield throwing errors exacerbated Valpo's problems as Samford took an 8-7 lead on a Palace miscue.

Schmack summoned Bryce Yoder with runners on second and third with one out. Yoder got Brandon Haarer to ground out back to him before Bryson whiffed for the third out.

The Samford bullpen gifted a pair of runs Valpo's way in the top of the 8th. Charles Terry issued back-to-back walks to Palace and Johnson to open the frame. Andres Gracia was called in to relieve Terry who yielded a bunt single to Mahoney to load the bases.

Bynum and Morman both wore pitches in the back to force in a pair of runs and give Valpo a 9-8 advantage. 

Yoder worked a 1-2-3 8th inning before the Crusaders added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth. Mahoney doubled in Jeff Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) and Manning tallied his third hit and second RBI of the day with a single down the right field line.

Armed with an 11-8 lead, Kowalczyk entered the game in search of another save. The closer allowed the first two batters to reach via singles before getting McWhorter down on strikes for the first out. Tyler Filliben rolled over on a Kowalczyk delivery to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 twin killing.

With the win, the Crusaders open a season 2-0 for the first time since 2009 when the Brown and Gold swept Morehead State in a two-game set.

"This was a total team win. We could've folded after giving up three in the 7th, but we didn't. We competed all nine innings," head coach Brian Schmack said.

Valpo sets its eyes on the sweep tomorrow. Freshman Mario Losi (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) makes his collegiate debut in the 1:00 pm start. He'll face fellow righty Alex Milazzo. 

Links to the live stats will be available at valpoathletics.com.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M 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 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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay