The Valparaiso University baseball team continued its recent trend of scoring early and often on Friday night at Braun Field in Evansville, jumping out to an early lead with three in the first and three more in the second against the host Purple Aces. That was more than enough for sophomore starting pitcher Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge), who hurled a 112-pitch complete game win.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (13-19, 3-4) jumped on the board before having an out recorded for the second straight game. Valpo pushed across a pair of early runs on a double down the left-field line by Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic).
- Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mt. Carmel) lifted a sacrifice fly to center for the final run of the top of the first, boosting the lead to 3-0 before Tieman ever took the mound.
- The Purple Aces (6-25, 0-7) had a response in the bottom of the inning, as Matthew Jones blasted a home run to reduce Valpo’s lead to 3-1.
- Garbella had his second extra-base hit in as many innings in the second, this time crushing a three-run homer to left to expand the edge to 6-1.
- Valpo extended the lead to six in the fourth as a run-scoring single by Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) made it 7-1.
- Dalton Horstmeier drove in a run with a single in the fifth to pull the Purple Aces within five. That inning ended with a noteworthy defensive play by Jacob, who made a lunging grab on a fly ball to shallow left.
- A night that started with plenty of offense ended with quality pitching as neither team scored after the fifth. Tieman rolled through the Purple Aces lineup, working scoreless baseball over the final four frames to round out the complete game.
Inside the Game
- Garbella’s home run was his team-leading sixth of the season and the 13th of his career.
- Garbella racked up all of his season-high five RBIs in the first two innings of the game.
- This was Garbella’s fifth straight multi-hit game. It was the sixth time this year a Valpo player had five RBIs or more in a game.
- After knocking Illinois’ starting pitcher out after 0.0+ IP on Tuesday, the Crusaders ended Evansville starting pitcher Adam Lukas’ day after 3 2/3 IP on Friday. He was charged with seven runs, all earned, while allowing six hits and five walks. Lukas was hit with the defeat to plummet to 1-3.
- Tieman lasted at least seven innings for the fifth straight start.
- Tieman’s eight strikeouts marked a season high. He turned in his first career complete game. The sophomore righty boosted his record to 4-3 by limiting Evansville to two runs on nine hits. He allowed just two walks – the fifth straight start he’s permitted two walks or fewer.
- Valpo beat Evansville for the first time since May 2, 1981, continuing the week-long trend of topping opponents the program hasn’t defeated in recent years.
The Crusaders and Purple Aces will do it again on Saturday with the middle game of the series. The first pitch is slated to occur at 2 p.m. CT at Braun Stadium and the game will once again be broadcast on The Valley ESPN3.