Valparaiso at Indiana, NCAA Tournament Game 1

Bottom 9th: Just… wow.

After RBI doubles by Dustin DeMuth and Casey Smith. Chad Clark hit a two-run bomb over the left field wall to win the game 5-4. Umm… wow. Anyway. We’ll have more from this soon. Whoah.

Top 9th: Indiana gift-wrapped two insurance runs to Valparaiso in the ninth. With the bases loaded Valpo first baseman John Loeffler hit a grounder to second that kicked off the glove of a charging Chad Clark and trickled into the outfield, allowing two runs sto score and giving Valparaiso a 4-1 lead.IU down to its last three outs.


Bottom 8th: Cole Webb came out after seven innings for Valparaiso and reliever Ben Mahar was just as effective. He got Will Nolden, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis to all ground out for a 1-2-3 inning. Valpo leads 2-1 heading into the ninth.


Top 8th: Scott Effross needed just nine pitches to get through the eighth. He’s pitched four scoreless, but IU still trails 2-1.


Bottom 7th: Indiana is finally on the board. Left fielder Casey Smith ripped a one-out double to the right center field gap, then scored on a single by second baseman Chad Clark to make it 2-1 Valparaiso. Center fielder Justin Cureton grounded into a 6-4-3 double play after to end the inning, but the Hoosiers are at least on the board. Valpo leads 2-1.


Top 7th: Facing a suddenly tightening strike zone, Scott Effross walked the first two batters he faced in the seventh. However, the Hoosiers got a big play on defense with a perfectly executed wheel play to field a bunt by VU center fielder Bryce Hara. DeMuth got to that and threw out the lead runner at third. Effross got Tanner Vavra to fly out to center field and then struck John Loeffler out looking with a sharp breaking ball to end the inning. IU still down 2-0.


Bottom 6th: After a Sam Travis single, IU shortstop Michael Basil put a charge into a pitch from Valpo’s Cole Webb and hit it to the warning track with two outs. However, Valpo’s Bryce Hara tracked it down and the Hoosiers are still scoreless, down 2-0 heading into the seventh.


Top 6th: Scott Effross has stepped in and settled the Hoosiers down at least, and has retired Valpo in order in each of his first two innings. Valpo leads 2-0, though, as the Hoosiers bats have stalled.


Bottom 5th: Cole Webb hit IU center fielder Justin Cureton with two outs, but otherwise cruised through the fifth. The Hoosiers still haven’t put a run on the board, and trail 2-0.


Top 5th: Tracy Smith pulled his ace before the fifth inning. Slegers threw 68 pitches and looked generally off through four but only gave up two runs. Smith brought in Effross, and the freshman reliever had an easy first inning, getting a 1-2-3 inning with just 10 pitches.


Bottom 4th: IU catcher Kyle Schwarber led off with a single and first baseman Sam Travis drew a walk. Designated hitter Scott Donley bunted them to second and third, but shortstop Michael Basil popped up to third and third baseman Dustin DeMuth struck out looking at a 1-2 breaking ball to end it.Valpo still up 2-0.


Top 4th: Aaron Slegers doesn’t look the least bit dominant, but he got through the fourth unscathed after a leadoff single by catcher Billy Cribbs. Valpo leads 2-0.


Bottom 3rd: Cole Webb needed only seven pitches to retire Indiana 1-2-3 in the third. He’s needed just 38 pitches to get through three. Valpo leads 2-0.


Top 3rd: The third was the closest thing Aaron Slegers has had to a smooth inning. He gave up a two-out single to shortstop Spencer Mahoney, but that was all. Valpo still leads 2-0.


Bottom 2nd: Cole Webb cruised through a 1-2-3 second inning. Valpo still leads 2-0.


Top 2nd: Valparaiso got another run across in the second on an RBI single by designated hitter Andrew Bain. IU third baseman Dustin DeMuth made a diving play to end the inning without more damange, but Valpo is up 2-0.


Bottom 1st: Indiana got a man on the first and should have had two when designated hitter Scott Donley singled up the middle. However. Valpo shortstop Spencer Mahoney fielded that grounder and first baseman Sam Travis thought it got up the middle. He was caught between second and third to end the inning. Valpo leads 1-0.


Top 1st: Valparaiso went right at Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Aaron Slegers, putting a run on the board and almost making more damage. Designated hitter Andrew Bain, second baseman Tanner Vavra and first baseman John Loeffler and right fielder Chris Manning drove in Bain when he grounded into a force play. Slegers struck out Mahoney with a 3-2 breaking ball, but Valpo leads 1-0.


Running a little bit behind here because of the first game. But IU-Valpo is rolling. Lineups (minus stats this time, my apologies) follow.

Valparaiso (31-26)

1. Andrew Bain dh.

2. Bryce Hara, cf

3. Tanner Vavra, 2b

4. John Loeffler, 1b

5. Chris Manning, rf

6. Spencer Mahoney ss

7. Elliott Martin, 3b

8. Billy Cribbs, c

9. Mark Johnson, lf

P– Cole Webb, RHP

Indiana (43-14)

1. Will Nolden rf

2. Kyle Schwarber c

3. Sam Travis 1b

4. Scott Donley, dh

5. Michael Basil, ss

6. Dustin DeMuth, 3b

7. Casey Smith, lf

8. Chad Clark, 2b

9. Justin Cureton cf

P– Aaron Slegers, RHP.


  1. Ouch…Error on the Hoosier second baseman. Two more runs in for Valpo. Valpo up 4-1. Still in top of the 9th.

  2. Gosh…The tide turned thanks to Harvard following the game on his typically dull Friday night.

    Does this mean I’m going to have to follow every game because I’m evidently sending good luck powers?

  3. Yes, Harv, it does. And I’ll be right there with you. Great game gentlemen. Proud to be a Hoosier.

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