Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Defeats Butler to Advance in Horizon League Championships
Josh Wallace drove in three runs against Butler.
Josh Wallace drove in three runs against Butler.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Box Score

                A two-run seventh inning proved to be the difference for Valparaiso on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders defeated Butler 6-5 at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio on day one of the 2008 Horizon League Baseball Championships presented by the U.S. Army.

                With the victory, Valparaiso (19-33), the tournament’s sixth seed, advances to face third-seeded Youngstown State, the tournament host, on Wednesday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. CDT.  The game will be carried live on sportsjuice.com and on the Horizon League Network.

                “For us this was a big win,” head coach Tracy Woodson said.  “We didn’t want to drive all the way out here to play just game.  This gets us at least two more games.”

                Butler threatened putting two runners on in the top of the first, but Elliott Gibbs (Munster, Ind./Munster H.S.) caught Nate Hart looking to end the threat.  He continued his mastery of the strike zone in the second, fanning the side to give him five strikeouts through two innings of work.

                Valpo had a runner in scoring position in the opening inning as Dan DeBruin (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly H.S.) reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.  Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) looked to drive in the run with a soft liner to shallow right, but second baseman Jason Jamerson made a diving grab.

                The Bulldogs found the scoreboard in the top of the third as Kyle Schultz hit a three-run homer to deep rightfield after Butler had the first two batters of the inning single.

                The Crusaders immediately answered with three of their own in the bottom of the inning.  Brett Bivens (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview H.S.) led off with an opposite field single to left and DeBruin walked.  After a groundout moved the runners up 90 feet, Rodeghero blooped a double into left to score Bivens and put Valpo on the board.  For Rodeghero, it was his 21st double of the season, tying the school’s single season mark set by Rob Hadrick in 1997 and matched by Mark Pedersen in 2001.  Josh Wallace (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine H.S.) then tied the game at three with a two-run single up the middle.

                Gibbs again worked out of a jam in the fifth as the Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs.  The sixth-year senior recorded his eighth strikeout of the game to end the threat.

                Butler retook the lead in the top of the sixth without a hit.  A lead-off walk to Michael Letzter and a fielder’s choice put two runners on and no one out.  After a sacrifice bunt, Jay Clites (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) came on to relieve Gibbs and Rick Betsch laid down a squeeze bunt to plate Letzter and put the Bulldogs on top 4-3.

                Gibbs finished the game working 5.1 innings and allowing the four runs and four hits while striking out eight.  He did walk five.

                “Gibbs was good today,” said Woodson.  “He was very gutsy.”

                Valpo again answered the Bulldogs’ run with one of its own in the sixth.  Jason Brunelli (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.) doubled to the gap in left-center and scored two batters later on a Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) single through the right side of the infield.

                Butler starter Jeff Sinkiewicz departed after six innings, allowing four runs and seven hits while striking out two and walking one.  He, like Gibbs, left with a no decision.  Jared Wagoner came on in the seventh and gave up a lead-off single to DeBruin.  John Giusti (Coventry, R.I./Coventry H.S.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move DeBruin into scoring position and Wagoner intentionally walked Rodeghero, the league’s leading hitter.  Wallace made the Bulldogs pay, lacing a single through the right-side to put the Brown and Gold on top.  Brunelli followed with a sacrifice fly to center giving the Crusaders a 6-4 lead heading into the eighth.

                Steve Godawa (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.), who came on in the seventh to retire the side, induced a double play ball in the eighth following a lead-off single and the Crusaders took the two-run advantage into the ninth.

                Godawa got the first two hitters on a weak groundout to Giusti at second and a strikeout before Joe Pauley went the opposite way with a homer to right to keep things interesting, and bring the Bulldogs within one at 6-5.  After a walk to Kyle Schultz, Jarad Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll H.S.) came on to strikeout Nate Hart looking to secure his Horizon League-leading eighth save of the season.

                “Godawa has been a big surprise for us out of the pen this year as a freshman,” said Woodson.  “He gives us a huge link to get to Miller.”

                Godawa earned the victory (3-2) while Wagoner (0-1) suffered the loss.  Wallace finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs batted in while Bivens also had a two-hit day.

                “Josh came up with some big hits with men in scoring position,” said Woodson.

                Valpo now advances to the double elimination portion of the tournament.  The Crusaders went 2-3 against Youngstown State during the regular season.  Butler sees its season come to an end with a 12-34 record.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana