For the first time on the spring trip, Miami (7-8) started the game in a hole. With one out in the second, Valpo had back-to-back hits. After a fielder's choice out, consecutive walks forced in a run. The Crusaders took advantage of another hit and walk in the third inning, following those two with a home run over the left field fence.
Two one-out hits around a wild pitch led to a 5-0 Crusader lead in the fourth and when Mac Thoreson walked the next batter, Miami went to the bullpen. Nate Williams allowed an RBI single to the first batter he faced, making the deficit 6-0, but settled in and got out of the inning. Thoreson (0-3) finished the day with seven hits and six runs against, walking three while fanning one.
Valpo (8-11) added a run in the seventh before Miami rallied in the eighth. Ryan Elble, pinch-hitting for Matt Packer who was injured mid at-bat, singled through the left side. Chad Sedio followed and found the exact same hole to put runners on first and second. Matt Honchel drew a full-count walk before Johnson greeted a new pitcher by lacing a two-run single to center. An third Crusader pitcher got two straight groundouts, giving up a run on the first, before pinch hitter Adam Yacek delivered an RBI single to left.
The Crusaders added an insurance run in the ninth, but Miami made it interesting in its final at-bat. The first two outs were recorded on lazy pop fly, but then back-to-back errors put runners at first and second. A walk loaded the bases, setting up Bowles for a looping single down the right field line that plated two. The tying run came to the plate, but Adam grounded to short.
Miami opens its home schedule on Tuesday with the start of a home-and-home series with 24th-ranked Indiana. The teams meet at 4 p.m. at McKie Field, then travel to Bloomington on Wednesday. PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE DUE TO ANTICIPATED WEATHER.