Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Losi Dazzles in Debut; Bullpen Can't Hold Lead
Karch Kowalczyk hit his second career home run Sunday at Samford. (Ray Acevedo)
Karch Kowalczyk hit his second career home run Sunday at Samford. (Ray Acevedo)
Valparaiso (2-1)
at
Samford (1-2)
2/16/2014 | Birmingham, Ala. | Attendance: 275
123456789RHE
Valparaiso001303000762
Samford00001012610141
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Gracia (1-0) 1.000002
Loss: Mahar (0-1) 0.236631
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Mahoney (VALPO) 412110
Bryson (SAM) 414701

Sunday, February 16, 2014

With a 7-1 lead, the Crusaders were nine outs away from their first road sweep to open a season since 1969, but the Samford Bulldogs defended their territory as they rallied for eight runs in the final two innings in a 10-7 win at J.L. Griffin Field in Alabama.

"It's a tough loss to take obviously. But all in all, to take two games in our first three days outside we're pretty happy," head coach Brian Schmack said. 

Crusader pitcher Mario Losi (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) met a high level of expectations when he surrendered just two runs in seven innings on the hill. The freshman walked only one and struck out one while keeping his pitch count low.

Valpo jumped out to a multi-run lead for the third time with a run in the third and three in the fourth.

Andrew Bynum (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View [Orange Coast CC]) recorded his fifth RBI of the season via a bases-loaded walk that forced in freshman Ray Bartolomucci (Concord, Calif./De La Salle).

Valpo opened its lead to 4-0 in an action-packed fourth frame. Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) deposited a Milazzo delivery over the left field fence for his second career home run. The solo shot put the Brown and Gold ahead 2-0. 

Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill/Lyons Township) singled in Mark Johnson (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) later in the inning after Johnson reached base on a walk. A perfectly-executed double steal allowed Mahoney to come home while Johnson safely slid into second. The 4-0 Crusader lead stood after four innings.

Samford got a run back in its half of the fifth when Caleb Bryson drove in Tyler Filliben.

Valparaiso tacked on a pair of runs in the sixth when Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Chrisitan) stroked the first home run of his Crusader career, a two-run shot that brought in Bartolomucci as well.

Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) ripped a double after a Mahoney walk that allowed the shortstop to race home to give Valpo a 7-1 lead.

The Bulldogs made it 7-2 right after the stretch. Bryson scored Filliben again, this time on a sac fly.

Losi gave way to sophomore Trevor Haas (Mt. Prospect, Ill./Hersey) after seven strong frames. Back-to-back RBI singles off the righty created a 7-4 save situation in the final inning.

With Kowalczyk having thrown the last two days, Schmack pointed for Ben Mahar (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) to seal the deal.

The first two Samford batters singled before Tripp Martin walked to load the bases. Heath Quinn drew a pass that forced in the fifth Samford run. The Crusaders were unable to turn a 4-6-3 double play ball off the bat of Evan McWhorter. The fielder's choice brought in Jared Watson to make it a 7-6 tilt.

Mahar painted the outside corner with a fastball to sit Hunter Swilling down on strikes for the second out.

But with the bases loaded and two away, Bryson came back to kill the Crusaders with a walk-off grand slam giving Samford the 10-7 victory.

Valpo (2-1) will return to Alabama to face Jacksonville State in a three-game series next weekend. First pitch Friday is set for 3:00 pm. 

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

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
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
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
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
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
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