The Valparaiso University baseball team fell to Bradley 13-2 in seven innings in the rubber match of a three-game weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Dozer Park in Peoria. Brent Jones (Ankeny, Iowa / Ankeny Centennial [Iowa Central]) had a two-run double to account for Valpo’s scoring.
How It Happened
- Valpo threatened in the opening inning, but came away empty handed despite a single, double and walk. A caught stealing proved costly in the inning.
- Bradley (29-14, 9-6) jumped on the board when Connor O’Brien drove in Luke Shadid with a single to third base in the bottom of the first. Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) made a diving stop on the play, but his throw to first was late. A nice play by Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) in the hole at short retired the side without further damage.
- Bradley expanded the lead in the bottom of the second with one swing of the bat by Luke Shadid, who cracked a two-run homer.
- The Braves scored four times in the third inning, a frame that ended the day for Valpo starting pitcher Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College]) after he allowed six runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. Bradley took a 7-0 lead to the fourth.
- Valpo got on the board in the top of the fourth. Blake Billinger (Los Gatos, Caliof. / St. Francis [Mission]) ripped his second double of the day and eventually came around to score as part of the two-run double by Jones.
- Bradley added two in a strange fourth inning that featured a lost-in-the-sun double and a collision at first base on a thrown ball from third that allowed a run to score.
- After a single tally in the fifth, the Braves ended the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh including a game-ending two-run homer by Dan Bolt.
Inside the Game
- In the first innings alone, Billinger went 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI single in this series.
- Billinger had three doubles in the series including his first two-double day of the season on Sunday. He had three multi-double games a year ago.
- Billinger is up to 34 doubles in his career, moving him into a tie with Shaikin as Valpo’s active leader. The mark needed to crack the Top 10 in program history in career doubles is 38.
- Jones broke through with two hits, his first multi-hit game since March 29 at DBU and the double was his first extra-base knock since March 16 against Northern Illinois.
Valpo (10-31, 3-12) will be back in action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. ET to battle Michigan State in East Lansing. The game will be broadcast on BTN+ with live audio and stats available courtesy of Michigan State Athletics.