Courtesy of NKUNorse.com
VALPARAISO, Ind. – The Northern Kentucky University baseball team unleashed an offensive barrage against Valparaiso on Sunday, sweeping the Crusaders in a doubleheader, 12-4 and 9-4, at Emory G. Bauer Field.
NKU improves to 18-31 overall and 7-19 in the Horizon League. Valparaiso dips to 20-25 and 11-11 in the Horizon League.
A trio of seniors helped fuel the Norse offense as Logan Spurlin posted five RBI, three home runs and four runs scored. Quint Heady went 6-for-10 at the plate with three RBI and three stolen bases while Anthony Vagnier went 4-for-8 with five RBI and three runs scored.
NKU returns to action when it travels to Xavier for the final regular season road game on Tuesday, May 10 at 3 p.m.
Game one (Northern Kentucky 12, Valparaiso 4)
Game one saw the Norse use a six-run sixth to erase an early 4-0 deficit after Valpo scored all of its runs in the bottom of the first.
A trio of Norse relievers – Seth Rosenberg, Aric Harris and Pierce Knisley – combined for 7.0 scoreless innings of relief. Rosenberg picked up the win after 5.0 scoreless innings with five hits. Harris and Knisley combined for just one hit in 2.0 innings of work.
NKU clubbed three home runs in the contest. A solo shot from Trey Ganns in the second inning cut the Valpo lead to 4-1 while a two-run homer from Spurlin sparked the pivotal six-run frame for NKU.
The sixth inning also featured a two-run double from Vagnier and a Heady RBI single. Heady went on to score on a Valpo error for a 7-4 advantage.
Spurlin’s second homer of the game added a run in the seventh before the Norse sealed the win with a four-run ninth.
Game two (Northern Kentucky 9, Valparaiso 4)
In game two, the Norse again used a big inning to overcome an early deficit. With Valpo leading 2-0, NKU scored seven runs in the third inning, which would be all it needed for the win.
The Norse capitalized on five hits and four Crusader errors to lead 7-2 in the third. A fielder’s choice RBI from Ganns and RBI knocks from Brad Bohlen, Vagnier and Heady helped NKU take control of the game.
Spurlin blasted his third and final home run of the day in the top of the sixth to score Will Haueter for NKU’s final runs.
The win went to starter Pat Kelley who threw 5.0 innings with five hits and three runs. Justin Watts picked up his first save this season after allowing two hits and one run in 4.0 innings.
· Spurlin’s three home runs on Sunday give him a team-leading nine total this season. The senior has posted 20 in his career, tied for 10th all-time at NKU.
· The victories gave the Norse their 18th win, the most wins in a single season in NKU’s Division I era, surpassing NKU’s 17 wins in the 2015 campaign.
· Heady extended his hit streak to 10 games and went 9-for-17 (.529) with two runs scored, three RBI and two walks this weekend.