Securing the Southern Illinois University (SIU) series three times in their four game series was the goal.
Breaking in the new turf at Emory G. Bauer Field was what the team needed for the rest of the season.
“The addition of the turf is big for us,” senior outfielder Jonathan Temple said. “Being able to play home games earlier in the season and gives us more swagger going into games.”
The last time the team played a home game series, they swept SIU three times at Emory G. Bauer Field on May 10-12, 2019.
“The atmosphere was great and it was great to have fans there,” Temple said.
Both of Valparaiso’s doubleheader games needed an extra offensive push to win.
Both of Valparaiso’s doubleheader games found that push in the bottom of the ninth inning.
During game one, Temple hit a homerun in the bottom of the ninth of the first game to give Valpo the 7-6 victory.
“I just wanted to put together a good at-bat and give the team a chance to win,” Temple said. “He kept coming in on me. He missed on a pitch and put it over the plate. I had a good idea it was gone when I hit based on my swing I put on it.”
Temple commented that his contribution to success comes from the repetition that he puts in day in and day out.
“I was on the bench, and I am watching what they are doing to players of similar skill sets like Kyle Schmack,” Temple said. “For me personally, it's about my routine on deck and in the box.”
In the second game, the push required some strings to pull.
In the bottom of the seventh, Valpo was down 3-0.
Freshman pinch hitter Matt Olive’s hit by pitch allowed Valpo to score their first run. Sophomore infielder Kyle Schmack next produced a game-tying, two-run single to left to make the score 3-3.
Senior outfielder Riley Dent concluded the day with a game-winning hit to give Valpo another walk off.
Dent earned his first ever walk-off to help Valpo win Game two.
“I was excited to finally get an opportunity to be the guy at the end of the game,” Dent said. “I took advantage of the opportunity. I knew as soon as I hit I knew it was the game winner. I was ecstatic it was my first ever walk-off in my entire career.”
During game four, Valpo won the offensive game in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning to secure the series.
Pitching was strong for the Brown and Gold against the Salukis. During game two, senior starter Jon Tieman threw for five scoreless innings in relief.
His efforts on the mount continues to lift his career strikeout total to 227, placing him seventh all-time in the program
“Trusting my pitches this year and throwing the ball over the plate and letting them try to hit it,” Tieman said. “In the past I have gotten to fine with my pitches when I got two strikes and this year I have been going right at them.”
Tieman said that the team can compete with anyone with the conference mounted by their underclassmen.
“This past weekend you are starting to see the results of doing the little things right and confidence in ourselves,” Tieman said. “Especially in our young players having confidence they can play with college players.”
While the record does not reflect their goals, Temple commented that he is encouraged by the team's recent performance against SIU.
“This past weekend can be a trampoline to get us going to believe in ourselves and compete in the valley. By not beating ourselves will be the key to our success the rest of the season.”
After playing Illinois State University in a four-game series the weekend of April 30, Valpo will travel to Peoria, Il. to oppose Bradley.