Matt Reynolds struck out on three pitches to end the game, eliminating a second Arkansas rally in as many innings. The Razorbacks had tied the game 9-9 on a Matt Vinson sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Dominic Ficociello from third base.
Will Hagel's two-out RBI single scored Tanner Vavra to give the Crusaders the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning. Vavra led-off the inning with a double off Razorbacks reliever Nolan Sanburn.
"Arkansas is by far one of the top teams in the country," Valparaiso coach Tracy Woodson said. "I think this is a great achievement for our team.
"We have got about a 12-hour bus ride and that is going to make it even better. I told these guys that we competed every day against this team and we were not out of the ballgame in any of the three days."
Arkansas won 7-3 on Friday and rallied from a three-run deficit to win 4-3 on Saturday, but couldn't manage a second straight comeback to sweep its Horizon League foe.
Wise led-off the bottom half of the 10th with a single, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and fielder's choice. Ficociello was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Sam Bates walked to bring Reynolds to the plate.
"Sometimes losing can be a good thing," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "It just depends on when it is. You don't want to lose a game in conference or in a tournament down the road, but early in the season you've got to learn how to handle it and you've got to learn how to bounce back."
The Razorbacks (7-1) looked to have control of the game early. Reynolds' two-run double put Arkansas on the board first and he scored later in the inning to extend the lead to 3-0. Jacob Morris added a lead-off home run in the second and Ficociello an RBI single in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0.
Arkansas stranded five runners in the first four innings, however, and 10 for the game.
"We're up 4-0 and we had a runner on second, nobody out and we don't get a bunt down, and we don't score that inning," Van Horn said. "The (fourth) inning, pretty much the same situation and we only score one run. We're up 5-0, still looking pretty good, then bang, they punch in four runs and there you go."
Randall Fant, starting his first game of the season, retired his first seven batters, but began to labor in the top of the fifth. The left-hander gave up four consecutive singles to begin the inning, including RBI hits by Mark Johnson and Tanner Vavra.
Johnson scored on a wild pitch later in the inning by Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs and a Chris Manning sacrifice fly plated Vavra to pull the Crusaders within 5-4.
All four runs were charged to Fant, who failed to retire a batter in the fifth and finished the game with a no-decision, allowing six hits and striking out five batters.
"I thought he was great - outstanding - for three or four innings," Van Horn said. "Then after that it seemed like he lost a little bit. There in the fifth inning, they hit everything he threw hard. His fastball was up and he started leaving his change-up up. We needed to get to the bullpen real quick."
The Razorbacks looked to have regained control with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning, but Valparaiso added five more to take the lead in the top of the sixth. Elliott Martin's two-out, three-run double off Arkansas freshman Chris Oliver gave the Crusaders a 9-7 lead.
"The outfielders were playing a little bit in because of the wind and he smoked it," Woodson said. "That was just a clutch hit."
Arkansas added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder's choice by Reynolds to score Ficocicello, pulling the Razorbacks within 9-8. Ficociello reached base all six times he came to bat Sunday, finishing the game 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored.
"We played pretty well, just today they found the holes a little bit more than we did," Ficociello said. "We battled back and that was good to see.
"We're going to have to solve a few problems and figure a few things out if we want to be successful against teams in our conference and teams like Texas (next Sunday)."
Sanburn pitched three innings in relief for the Razorbacks, but picked up his first loss of the season. The sophomore right-hander allowed two hits and struck out eight batters.
Jarad Miller picked up the win for the Crusaders by pitching two innings, allowing one run on two hits. Valpo starter Kevin Wild was chased after giving up seven runs on 10 hits through four innings.
The Razorbacks will face BYU for the first of a two-game series Tuesday at Baum Stadium. Brandon Moore will start that game on the mound.