Valpo Uses Pair of Rallies to Sink Gents
Saturday, April 10, 2004

Shreveport—Valparaiso used a pair of two-out last inning rallies to come from behind and take both games of a doubleheader against Centenary on Saturday at Shehee Stadium. The Gents were failed by their relief corps and allowed two run leads in the final inning of both contests to slip away as the home team fell 13-9 and 7-5 to drop to 1-3 in Mid-Con play.

Centenary (14-20, 1-3 Mid-Con) dominated the early going in game one and entered the eighth inning ahead of the Crusaders 5-2. Pitcher Kevin Cassidy baffled the Valparaiso hitters for seven innings but allowed the first two hitters to reach in the eighth. After a failed pick-off attempt, Cassidy was ejected from the game for questioning the umpire on the call. With Cassidy gone, Valpo gained the momentum and with two outs and runners on second and third, Kevin Kutansky promptly singled in both baserunners to pull the visitors within one. Two additional doubles and an error gave the Crusaders a 7-5 advantage.

The Gents answered in the bottom half of the inning when Alex Valdivia singled to right field with the bases loaded. Valdivia attempted to advance to second on the throw to the plate but the Valpo first baseman cut the throw off and threw the ball away. The errant throw brought Bobby Gilliam and Valdivia around to score and gave Centenary a 9-7 lead.

Valparaiso’s (7-19, 3-1 Mid-Con) Jeff Rickert worked a leadoff walk in the ninth and advanced to third on a double by Kevin Perri. After a sacrifice fly plated a run and gave the Gents two outs, Keith Keslinke singled Perri home to knot the game at 9-9. Eddie Hannan followed with a home run to give the Crusaders the lead and they added three more runs with two outs to take the victory.

Game two was a seven-inning affair and saw the Gents take a 5-3 lead into the final inning. The frame began with two singles and a sacrifice bunt to place runners on second and third for Valparaiso. Rickert singled and moved to second on an error by the Centenary left fielder to pull the Crusaders within one. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Tony Cardone struck out Perri to record the second out of the inning. However, Cardone walked the next batter to force in the tying run and allowed a single to give Valpo the 7-5 win.

Centenary will travel to face Chicago State in a four-game Mid-Con series next weekend and will return home to host defending conference champion Oral Roberts on April 24th and 25th.