Wright State defeated Valparaiso on Sunday afternoon in the Horizon League championship game 4-3 at Nischwitz Stadium in Dayton, Ohio.
Damon McCormick tossed his second complete game of the tournament for Valpo, but the Raiders scored what would be the winning run in the seventh inning.
Dan Marsh doubled, moved to third on a bunt, and scored on Tristan Moore’s single up the middle to break a 3-3 tie and put Wright State ahead for good.
“Of course I’m disappointed in the way it ended,” Valpo head coach Tracy Woodson said after the game. “The way Damon pitched it was hard not to see him get the win.”
McCormick allowed three earned runs and 10 hits in eight innings. He walked one and struck out four in the loss (6-7). He was named to the All-Tournament Team for his efforts after allowing three earned runs in 17 innings of work for the week.
Valpo jumped on top in the opening inning as Andrew Bain led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Chris Manning bunted Bain to third, Will Hagel plated the run with a sacrifice fly.
The Raiders tied the game in the second with a two-out unearned run. Justin Kopale’s single to left scored Zach Tanner and made it a 1-1 contest.
Ryan O’Gara started Valpo in the fourth with a two-out single. After Steven Scoby and Michael Morman were both hit by pitches to load the bases, Bain drew a walk to force home a run and put the Crusaders on top 2-1.
In the sixth Valpo added to the lead. Scoby reached on a lead-off error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Morman. Bain’s ground out moved Scoby to third and he scored on a Manning single up the middle, making it 3-1.
Wright State (36-17) tied the game in the sixth. After Zach Tanner tripled with one out, Kopale tied the game with a two-out home run to left, evening the contest and setting the stage for the climatic seventh inning.
“Damon made some big pitches throughout the day to get out of jams,” Woodson said. “Unfortunately the one pitch to Kopale was the difference.”
Michael Schum earned the win (9-2) for the Raiders, pitching three innings of scoreless relief. He faced one over the minimum over the final three frames.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump after they tied it up,” Woodson added.
Bain and Hagel each had two hits for Valpo as the Crusaders tallied just seven on the afternoon, their lowest output of the tournament. Marsh, Tanner, and Kopale all had two hits for the Raiders as the hosts finished with 10 hits.