The Valparaiso University baseball team has added another name to the growing list of nationally-acclaimed programs it has defeated this season. The Crusaders topped a DBU team that entered the weekend 46th nationally in RPI in one-sided fashion, cruising to a 9-2 victory in Sunday’s series finale at Emory G. Bauer Field. The star of the day was starting pitcher Wes Gordon (Gurnee, Ill. / Warren [Lake County]), who turned in a complete-game masterpiece against a formidable offensive club.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (15-23, 5-7) jumped on the board first with help from a pair of DBU errors in the opening inning. They then expanded the lead to 3-0 in the third. A Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) infield single drove in a run, as did a Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) double down the left-field line.
- The Crusaders added breathing room in a five-run fourth inning. Billinger ripped a double down the left-field line to score a pair before Zack Leone (Pelham Manor, N.Y. / Fordham Prep [Susquehanna]) drive in a run and Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) added a two-run single to make it 8-0.
- DBU scratched out two runs in the eighth, its first damage of the day against Gordon. Valpo got one run right back as Billinger spanked his second two-bagger of the afternoon in the bottom of the eighth, allowing Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) to score.
- Gordon finished what he started, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to nail down the win.
- Gordon sent down the side in order four times in the game, including a stretch of eight straight retired in the middle of the contest.
Inside the Game
- All three weekend starting pitchers have now thrown a complete game for the Crusaders this season.
- The complete game was the first of Gordon’s career. He threw nine quality innings earlier this season at Oklahoma, but that game went to extras. The Valpo right-hander boosted his record to 2-4 by limiting DBU to two runs on five hits and three walks while registering five strikeouts.
- DBU’s Luke Eldred’s start was short-lived as he permitted three runs (one earned) on two hits in three frames. He was saddled with the defeat to drop to 3-2.
- This marks the first season Valpo has had three different pitchers hurl a complete game since 2012, a year the team reached the NCAA Regional.
- Billinger leaped to a league-leading 19 doubles. He enjoyed a three-hit day and drove in four, while Shaikin came around to score four runs.
The Crusaders will be back in action on Tuesday at 3 p.m. as they visit Northern Illinois. Live video and stats will be available.