The Valparaiso University baseball team was edged 4-2 by Alabama State on Wednesday night in Montgomery Alabama. The Hornets snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-run triple in the sixth, a lead that would hold up on a night that featured quality pitching on both sides.
How It Happened
• Valpo struck first when senior Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif./ Wilson) singled up the middle to drive in a run. That was part of a stretch where four straight Valpo batters reached base to start the game, but the team settled for one first-inning tally.
• One swing of the bat helped the Hornets (14-4) get even in the bottom of the third as Jabronski Williams clubbed a solo homer.
• Valpo had men at the corners and only one away in the fourth after a double by Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) and single by Angel DiFederico (New Haven, Ind. / New Haven), but could not push across a run. Alabama State grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fourth, which started with a walk, double and single.
• A Dent double and a pair of walks set the stage for Troy Jones (Orland Park, Ill. / Carl Sundberg) to lift a game-tying sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth. Valpo settled for a single run in the inning and the game stayed tied at two. DiFederico singled to start the sixth and immediately moved to second on a wild pitch, but he was stranded there.
• Williams continued his big day with a two-run triple with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, putting Alabama State ahead 4-2. Valpo threatened one more time in the eighth thanks to a DiFederico double, but a double play eventually ended the inning.
Inside the Game
• DiFederico had his biggest night in a Valpo uniform so far, accounting for three of the team’s eight hits. The catcher went 3-for-4 to provide the seventh three-hit game by a Valpo player this season.
• Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) and Dent had two hits apiece, while Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) and Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]) reached base twice each via the base on balls. Dent, who also drew a walk, extended his hitting streak to four and enjoyed his team-leading sixth multi-hit day of the year.
• Jarrett Hammel (Brook, Ind. / South Newton [Saint Joseph’s College]) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits while striking out six and walking two over 2 1/3 innings. He was working in relief of Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove), who went three frames and gave up two runs on four hits and four walks.
• Relievers Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) and Jacob Rosenkranz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) combined for 2 2/3 shutout innings, yielding just combined one hit. Quigley recorded four of his five outs via the punchout.
• The Valpo pitching staff combined to record 25 strikeouts over the two games at Alabama State this week.
Valpo (2-14) will head back to the state of Louisiana to take on Southeastern Louisiana in a three-game weekend series that begins on Friday night at 6 p.m. Links to live video, audio, and stats courtesy of Southeastern Louisiana will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.