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Friday, May 27 Results
(1) Wright State 5, (2) Milwaukee 1
(3) Valparaiso 12, (2) Milwaukee 7

Saturday, May 28 Schedule
12 p.m. - (3) Valparaiso at (1) Wright State
4 p.m. - (3) Valparaiso at (1) Wright State* (if necessary)

(1) Wright State 5, (2) Milwaukee 1
Top-seed Wright State, behind a stellar pitching performance by Robby Sexton, advanced to the Horizon League Baseball Championship game with a 5-1 victory over second-seed Milwaukee on Friday afternoon at Nischwitz Stadium.

Both teams came away empty on early-inning threats until the Raiders scored twice in the fourth.  Ryan Fucci started the inning with an infield single and moved up to second on a wild pitch.  One out later, after Gabe Snyder walked and Daniel Arthur reached on an error to load the bases, JD Orr hit into a fielder's choice to plate a run and John Brodner dropped a single into right to make it 2-0.

An inning later, WSU added two more to the advantage.  Walks to Peyton Burdick and Sean Murphy and Fucci being hit by a pitch loaded the bases and Snyder drove in Burdick with a sacrifice fly to left.  Pinch-hitter Brad Macciocchi then singled to right center to knock Fucci to extend the margin to 4-0.

Sexton (6-3) blanked the Panthers for 6.2 innings, striking out a season-high eight batters while allowing three walks and two hits.

Milwaukee broke up the shutout with a run in the top of the eighth, only to see Wright State answer with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame as Brodner tripled down the right field line and scored on a Mitch Roman sacrifice fly.

Fucci, Snyder and Brodner each had two hits for the Raiders, with Fucci also scoring twice.

(3) Valparaiso 12, (2) Milwaukee 7
Third-seed Valparaiso trailed 6-0 after two innings of play, but battled back to defeat second-seed Milwaukee, 12-7, Friday afternoon to stay alive in the Horizon League Baseball Championship.

An eighth-inning solo homer off the bat of freshman Scott Kapers resurrected the Brown and Gold, and capped a roaring offensive rebuttal as memorable as it was loud. The Crusaders scored 12 of the game's final 13 runs while the bullpen surrendered a lone unearned run over eight frames in a signature 12-7 victory over Milwaukee Panthers in Game 7 of the Horizon League Baseball Championship.

Valpo advances to the Horizon League Championship finals where it will have to defeat Wright State twice to earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out in the first against Valpo starting pitcher Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll). Third baseman Nick Unes slapped an opposite-field RBI single before Cole Heili worked a walk that forced in the Panthers' second tally. Eric Solberg made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.

Horizon League Player of the Year Daulton Varsho expanded UWM's lead to 5-0 following a two-run double right-center field. Luke Meeteer clubbed a sac fly in the next at-bat to put the Crusaders behind by half a dozen.

Reliever Alex Dirienzo flummoxed the Panther offense while Valpo chipped away at the seemingly-insurmountable deficit.

Nolan Lodden erased the zero in the Crusaders' run column in the third with a sacrifice fly into foul territory in left field.

Dan Delaney lowered some jaws in the visitor's half of the fourth when he belted a two-run bomb bound deep over the left-center field wall. His eighth dinger of the year made it 6-3.

Milwaukee was poised to push its lead back to four runs in its half of the fourth. Meeteer slugged a leadoff double, but Dirienzo stranded him on third when he coaxed an inning-ending grounder from Mike Jordahl.

Shea Molitor lofted a fifth-inning sac fly that scored James Stea and nudged Valpo to within two runs.

UWM got the run right back in the sixth on a Meeteer RBI single. Right-handed pitcher Bryce Yoder, who took over for Chet Joslyn with one out, kept MKE to just one run despite the Panthers having two men in scoring position with one out. Milwaukee stranded the bases loaded after Yoder induced a ground out to first that ended the threat.

The Crusaders had deleted the deficit by the time the seventh-inning stretch occurred thanks to a three-run frame.

Chase Dawson and Stea were in scoring position when Lodden plated them with a double the other way. After a Molitor single sent Lodden over to third, Josh Clark knotted the game at 7-7 with an RBI grounder to first base.

Milwaukee reliever Jake Tuttle retired the first Crusader he faced in the eighth before a tidal wave of extra-base hits and walks thrust Valpo ahead for good. Tuttle left a 2-2 slider up and over the middle of the plate when Kapers struck it far and deep over the left-field wall, just inside the pole. His second round-tripper of the season gave Valpo its first lead at 8-7.

The Crusader offense then went walk, single, walk, double, double to stock their advantage to 12-7. Clark's two-bagger was the final in the sequence and resulted in RBIs No. 48 and 49. It came one batter after Molitor claimed his 53rd run batted in, moving him into a tie with Shawn Lemmons for fifth place for most RBIs in a season.

Yoder logged clean eighth and ninth frames for his third win of the season. He threw a season-high 3 2/3 innings, yielding one hit and striking out three. Dirienzo, who turned in three scoreless frames, also enjoyed his longest appearance of the 2016 season.

Tags: Horizon League - Baseball · Valparaiso - Baseball · Wright State - Baseball
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