April 26, 2015123456789RHE
Win: Fritze (2-4) 7.072232
Loss: Nate Green (1-6) 5.074432
Mahoney (VALPO) 413110
Edwards (VALPO) 413210
Robby Enslen (OAKLAND) 312010
Ian Yetsko (OAKLAND) 402200
Crusaders Seize Series Behind Fritze's Seven Strong
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Crusaders Seize Series Behind Fritze's Seven Strong
The middle of the Crusader infield produced six hits, two runs scored, and three runs batted in Sunday at Oakland. (Avery Davis)

The Crusaders kept the hit parade going Sunday as they parlayed 13 hits into six runs in a 6-2 win in the series finale at Oakland. Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) and Jeff Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) slugged three hits each while Ryan Fritze (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury [Des Moines Area CC]) limited the Golden Grizzly offense to two runs over seven innings. 

Valpo hopped on top 2-0 in the third when Edwards sent a two-run single up the middle. Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic), who led off the frame with a double, scored in front of Mahoney, whose single established a runners-on-the-corners scenario. A Nate Green wild pitch allowed Mahoney to scoot up to second.

The Crusaders plated a single run in each of the next four innings.

Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) and Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) cracked back-to-back doubles in the fourth to pad Valpo's lead to 3-0.

The Golden Grizzlies made it a one-run game in the home half of the fourth. Oakland went the first three innings without a hit before Trent Drumheller, Robby Enslen stroked consecutive singles before the first out was recorded. Both came around to score when Ian Yetsko sent the first pitch of his at-bat to the left-center field gap. Fritze retired the next three in a row to back into the dugout.

The Brown and Gold's lead doubled in the fifth when Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]) touched home on a wild pitch. 

Mahoney gave Fritze and the Crusaders a little more breathing room in the sixth. He sent a two-out fastball to right, plating Jacob from second. Jacob opened the inning with his second double of the afternoon.

Dustin Beasley (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point [Cisco]) collected his fourth RBI of the series in the seventh on a single to left. His knock made it 6-2.

Fritze turned in seven innings where he yielded two runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out a pair. Sunday represented his second straight quality start.

Trevor Haas (Mount Prospect, Ill./Hersey) and Bryce Yoder (Spencerville, Ind./Eastside) preserved the victory for Fritze - his second of the season - with two scoreless, hitless innings of relief. 

Valpo (16-21, 12-8 Horizon) took five of six from Oakland (7-28, 4-16 Horizon) in the season series. The Crusaders will face Chicago State (Tuesday) and Northern Illinois (Wednesday) before hosting Milwaukee (24-15, 10-10 Horizon) at Emory G. Bauer Field in a three-game series beginning Friday. Links to audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.