The Valparaiso University baseball team came within three outs of adding to the program’s long list of wins over Top 25 opponents, but No. 24 South Carolina started the ninth with back-to-back home runs and walked off with a 3-2 victory. Junior starting pitcher Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) may very well have pitched his best game in a Valpo uniform on Saturday, holding a quality Gamecocks offense to just one run (none earned) on six hits and no walks over eight innings.
How It Happened – Game 2
- Much of the day was a classic pitchers’ duel between Tieman and South Carolina’s Reid Morgan. Tieman surrendered a triple with two outs in the second, but escaped unscathed thanks to an inning-ending strikeout.
- The triple was the only blemish on either starters’ slate through the first three frames. Brent Jones (Ankeny, Iowa / Ankeny Centennial [Iowa Central]) singled through the left side with two outs in the fourth for Valpo’s first base runner of the game.
- Andrew Eyster doubled home a run with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, helping South Carolina take advantage of a throwing error that had started the inning. The Gamecocks went up 1-0 courtesy of the unearned tally.
- Valpo grabbed the lead in the top of the sixth as Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) ripped a double and Jones drove in a run with a single, capping a string of four straight Valpo hits and giving his team a 2-1 advantage.
- From there, Tieman continued to dominate. He put zeros on the board in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, leaving in position to earn an unforgettable victory.
- Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) came on to try to nail down the save, but the Gamecocks started the bottom of the ninth with the back-to-back jacks by Luke Berryhill and Jacob Olson to win the game.
Inside the Game – Game 2
- Perhaps the most important stat of the day for Tieman was the zero walks. It marked the third time in his career he has not issued any walks in a start with both prior instances coming last season – April 27 vs. DBU (6 IP) and March 16 at Arkansas Pine Bluff (8 IP).
- This was the first time in Tieman’s Valpo career that he started and did not give up an earned run. It was the 23rd start of his collegiate career.
- South Carolina (12-3) is ranked in the Top 25 in a variety of national polls including 20th by Baseball America and 24th by both D1Baseball.com and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
- Daniel Lloyd was the winner in relief, while Quigley took the defeat. Both men got their first decision of the season.
- Dent and Jones had two hits apiece to lead Valpo. That marked Dent’s team-leading fourth multi-hit game of the season, while Jones had his third multi-hit contest.
- Tieman was the best pitcher in Saturday’s game, but Morgan was a close second. He racked up 10 strikeouts and walked only one while limiting Valpo to two runs on seven hits in 8 2/3 innings.
How It Happened – Game 1 (resumption)
- Prior to the regularly-schedule game on Saturday, the two teams finished a game that was suspended due to rain on Friday. Play resumed in the fifth inning with Valpo trailing 4-1.
- South Carolina tacked on a run in the fifth and two in both the seventh and eighth innings. Valpo (2-9) did add a tally in the seventh on an RBI single by Shaikin, but South Carolina prevailed 9-2.
Inside the Game – Game 1
- Mike Kornacker (Lemont, Ill. / St. Laurence [Purdue]) took the defeat after allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while notching six strikeouts over four innings, all on Friday. He fell to 0-2. John Gilreath (2-1) picked up the win for South Carolina, while Cam Tringali nailed down his first save.
- Dent had two hits to start his productive day and account for Valpo’s lone multi-hit showing.
The series finale will take place on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. CT / noon ET in Columbia, S.C. Please note that this is a change from the originally-scheduled start time. The game will be carried on SEC Network+ with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.