Southern Miss nips Valpo in Saturday slugfest

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: March 1, 2020

The Valparaiso University baseball team rallied for nine runs over the final three innings including a six-run eighth, but it was not enough in a 13-11 setback to Southern Miss on Saturday afternoon at the Lake Area Classic in Lake Charles, La. Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) had three hits to lead a 15-hit onslaught, while Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]) enjoyed a four-RBI day.

How It Happened
• After Valpo had taken the early lead in each of the first two games in the event, this time the Brown & Gold played from behind. The Eagles got three in the opening inning including a two-run triple.
• Temple clubbed a two-run double to right center with two outs in the bottom of the first, a clutch hit that chased home Nolan Tucker (Cedar, Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) and Troy Jones (Orland Park, Ill. / Carl Sandburg [Triton]) and helped Valpo pull within one.
• The Eagles (8-2) tacked on one in the third on a solo shot by Matthew Guidry, then added three in the fifth to make it 7-2.
• Valpo got a gift run in the seventh on one hit with help from an error, a hit batter and a bases-loaded walk to Temple.
• Southern Miss seemingly put the game out of reach with five in the top of the eighth to increase the edge to 12-3. Guidry hit a three-run homer, his second long ball of the day, to highlight the frame. An error, a wild pitch and three walks led to the other two Southern Miss runs.
• Valpo fought back in the bottom of the eighth by scoring six times. Jeremy Drudge (Plymouth, Ind. / Plymouth) roped a triple to left center that made Southern Miss pay for a walk and a hit batter, as both of those runners scored. Later in the inning, an infield hit helped Temple record his fourth RBI of the day, then Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) belted a two-run double to make it 12-9. Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) drove in a run on an RBI bouncer for the other tally in that frame.
• The Eagles added one in the top of the ninth, then Valpo got a pair of unearned runs by capitalizing on a Southern Miss error in the bottom of the ninth. Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) tripled to drive in one, then Angel DiFederico (New Haven, Ind. / New Haven) doubled to score another.

Inside the Game
• Valpo had its second double-figure run total of the last four games by scoring a season-high 11 while pounding out 15 hits to match a season high. Valpo previously had 15 base knocks in a 14-10 setback at Louisville last weekend.
• Valpo hadn’t enjoyed a 15-hit output since March 16 of last season (vs. Northern Illinois), and has now done so twice in a four-game span.
• The 11 runs were the most scored by Valpo in a loss since a 14-13 setback on March 2, 2018 vs. CSUN.
• The 11 runs were the most allowed by Southern Miss this season.
• Dent had his second three-hit effort and third multi-hit game of the year.
• Jorgensen, Temple and Barczi had two hits apiece. Barczi and Jorgensen each had their second two-hit game on the young year, while Temple moved into the team lead with three multi-hit games.
• Temple drove in four runs to move into a tie with Tucker for the team lead with six. Temple also joined Tucker as the only Valpo players with a four-RBI game this year. In fact, nobody else has more than two in a contest.
• Valpo had no triples this season entering Saturday, but Drudge and Jorgensen both tripled in the game against Southern Miss. Both men had their first extra-base knock of the season.
• Barczi’s double was his first extra-base hit of the year, while DiFederico notched his first RBI in a Valpo uniform.
• Valpo had season highs in doubles (four) and extra-base hits (six). The four doubles were Valpo’s most since March 29 of last season at DBU (also four), and the six extra-base hits were the team’s most since nine on May 8, 2018 at Western Michigan.
• Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) and Keegan Bates (Plainfield, Ill. / Plainfield North) each worked scoreless innings out of the Valpo bullpen. Starter Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) took the loss after allowing seven runs on seven hits and striking out six in five frames.

Up Next
Valpo (1-8) will continue the Lake Area Classic on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT against host McNeese State. Links to live video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.