Pagano got to work early hitting a RBI-single with two outs in the top of the first inning to give the Golden Grizzlies (16-38, 11-19 HL) a 1-0 lead. Tyler Janish drove in another run in the second inning with a base-hit to extend the lead to 2-0 only to have the Crusaders (24-29, 13-15 HL) score three unanswered runs to take a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth inning.
Pagano responded with a go-ahead two-run homer to give the lead back to Oakland, then Valpo tied it in the next frame at 4-4. Pagano hit another RBI-single in the sixth inning and Tyler Trovinger drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Golden Grizzlies a 6-4 lead.
Oakland will play No. 1 UIC at 12 p.m. ET with a Northern Kentucky win or No. 2 Wright State at 4 p.m. ET with a Milwaukee win.