LOWELL | Michael Jindra is patient for his chance to pitch in a deep Valparaiso pitching corps.
He's working toward a spot in next season's rotation, taking his starts whenever and wherever he can.
On Saturday morning, it was on a sunny field in Lowell. Proving he's worthy of a spot for next year, he pitched six scoreless innings and ultimately allowed one earned run in his fourth win of the year. Valparaiso scored six runs in the fourth inning and held off a rally try by the Red Devils to win 6-5 in baseball action.
"I want to be at least No. 2 in the rotation next year, I really like starting and I'd rather do that than come in out of relief," Jindra said. "I have a feeling that if I just keep going, 4-1 is pretty good for a pitcher, and I just want to keep winning for my team."
The junior struck out four, walked one and from the third through sixth innings retired 12 straight.
"He did a great job with his selection, his decisions and his pitch count was in the low 70s when he started the seventh inning," Valparaiso coach Dave Coyle said. "I was really happy with him, I thought he did a great job for us today."
Jindra was backed up by his offense in the fourth inning and defense throughout.
The Vikings (11-10) scored six runs in the fourth on seven hits and sent 11 batters to the plate.
Andrew Page went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs to lead Valpo. Ryan Wexelberg hit a double, scored a run and went 2-for-4 for the Vikings.
"They hit the ball where we weren't and we hit the ball right at them, so you have to give them credit for making the plays," Lowell coach Bobby Wong said. "It was really a tale of two innings in the whole game. Other than that it was pretty even."
Lowell attempted a rally in the seventh, scoring five runs – one earned – on four hits. The Red Devils (7-10) took advantage of a leadoff error when Mitchell Finigan hit a two-run homer and then put two runners on with a walk and hit by pitch. Logan Schiessle hit a double followed by a Justin Thomas two-RBI single as Lowell collected three hits with two out. Austin Ford closed the game for Valparaiso, striking out his only batter.
"We have a tendency when we get down a few runs to just kind of pack it in," Wong said. "I think a couple of weeks ago, down 6-0 in the bottom of the seventh, I think we would have just said, 'OK, we'll go 1-2-3 and get the game over with and get out of here.' It was nice to see them put something together."