Three pitchers combined to limit Missouri State to two runs, but the host Bears edged the Valparaiso University baseball team 2-1 on Thursday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo. Valpo received strong efforts on the bump from Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland), Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge), and Alex Rodriguez (Bourbonnais, Ill. / Bradley-Bourbonnais).
How it happened
- Missouri State’s only runs came on one swing of the bat as Dakota Kotowski drilled a two-run homer in the second.
- Tieman twirled three scoreless innings and gave up just one hit, keeping Valpo within striking distance as the score remained 2-0 through the middle part of the game.
- The best chance for the Brown & Gold came in the fifth with the bases loaded and one away, but an inning-ending double play helped the Bears escape.
- Valpo got on the board in the eighth as Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock –[Modesto JC]) skied a double to right-center to plate Parker Johnson (Golden Valley, Minn. / Hopkins), who had delivered a two-base hit of his own earlier in the frame. However, Temple was left stranded in scoring position.
- Rodriguez continued to earn high-leverage moments as a rookie by having two scoreless frames including a 1-2-3 eighth. That kept the deficit at one entering the ninth, but Valpo couldn’t scratch out the tying run.
Inside the game
- Temple’s RBI was his 14th of the year, while Johnson scored his 19th run.
- Fitzsimmons saw his on-base streak come to a close at 16 games.
- Rodriguez has worked the scoreless ball in five of his last six appearances.
Valpo (14-30, 9-16) and Missouri State (18-22, 8-13) will continue the series on Friday morning with a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. Links to live video, audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com and the game is slated to air on ESPN3.