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Crusaders’ Offense Comes Alive Late for Extra-Inning Win
Oakland (7-27, 2-14 HORIZON)
Valparaiso (17-23, 7-9 HORIZON)
5/2/2014 | Valparaiso, IND | Attendance: 113
Friday, May 02, 2014
It looked like the same old story when it came to the Valparaiso offense lately on Friday, as the Crusaders picked up just five hits through the first seven innings. But a switch was flipped in the eighth inning, one which started an exciting Valpo comeback as the Crusaders defeated Oakland in 11 innings, 5-4.
Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) had three hits in the ballgame, but none was bigger than the drive that kicked off the scoring in the eighth, when he hit a two-run double to the gap which cut the Oakland lead to 4-2. He would later come around to score, cutting the deficit to one as he took third on a wild pitch and rounded the bag to score on a throwing error by the Oakland catcher. One inning later, Manning was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs to drive home the tying run in the form of JP Paciocco (Austin, Texas/Crockett), who pinch-ran after a one-out double by Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill./Aurora Christian).
In the 11th, after a Ray Bartolomucci (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) single and a Kyle Schneider (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) sacrifice bunt, Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) made contact on his third hit of the afternoon, which got under the second baseman’s glove into right field for the walk-off game-winner.
Oakland started the scoring with a pair of runs in the second inning on a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly. The Golden Grizzlies added single tallies in the sixth and seventh innings to push their lead to 4-0 before the Crusaders’ comeback started.
Cole Webb (Tulsa, Okla./Union) started and threw six solid innings for the Crusaders, recovering from a shaky start to give up only three runs and struck out six batters. It would be Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) who picked up his first win of the season after putting in 2.2 solid innings of relief. Logan Sparkman took the loss for Oakland, falling to 0-4 on the year.
The Crusaders (17-23, 7-9 Horizon) will look to pick up another win during Senior Day on Saturday afternoon against the Golden Grizzlies (7-27, 2-14 HL) with first pitch slated for noon. Gametracker and radio links will be available at Valpoathletics.com.