The Valparaiso University baseball team jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Tuesday night, but host Notre Dame scored three runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to notch a 4-3 victory at Frank Eck Stadium. Starting pitcher Keegan Bates (Plainfield, Ill. / Plainfield North) did not permit a hit through the first four innings.
How It Happened
- Neither team cracked the scoreboard through the first three innings, but Valpo eventually struck first by scoring twice in the fourth. The third walk of the inning was drawn by Brent Jones (Ankeny, Iowa / Ankeny Centennial [Iowa Central]) with the bases loaded to force in the game’s first run. After a pitching change, Damon Jorgenson (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) lifted a sacrifice fly to right to double the lead.
- Valpo got one more in the top of the fifth with help from three wild pitches and two walks. That expanded the lead to 3-0.
- Bates did not yield a hit in any of the first four innings. His no-hit bid was halted with one away in the fifth with what proved to be a string of four straight hits including a two-run double by Niko Kavadas. That ended the day for Bates, and one more run scored in the inning on a game-tying sac fly that made it 3-3.
- Notre Dame (17-22) took the lead with an unearned run against Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) in the bottom of the seventh after two Valpo errors. Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s]) came in to work out of an inherited jam by retiring both men he faced, but the Fighting Irish had a 4-3 lead through seven.
- Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) worked a scoreless eighth as Notre Dame stranded a runner at third, keeping it a one-run affair going to the ninth.
- Valpo got the potential tying run into scoring position in the top of the ninth, but the Fighting Irish held on for the win.
Inside the Game
- Bates received no decision despite his four hitless innings to start the day. He was charged with three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three in 4 1/3. Quigley (0-2) took the defeat.
- Shaikin had his 11th multi-hit game of the season and accounted for two of the team’s three hits.
- Valpo batters drew seven walks, led by Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Calif. / St. Francis [Mission]) and Jones with two apiece.
- This marks the second straight year Valpo has dropped a one-run decision at Notre Dame. A year ago, the Fighting Irish prevailed 6-5. Valpo fell to 1-5 in one-run games this season with Tuesday’s setback.
Valpo (8-27) will return to conference play this weekend with a three-game series against Evansville at Emory G. Bauer Field. The set opens up with a 3 p.m. start on Friday. Links to live audio and stats will be available.