The Indiana State baseball team recorded their sixth straight win of the season as they claimed the unofficial championship of the Mule City Classic after shutting out the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders 9-0 Sunday at Reese Smith Field.
The Sycamores improved to 6-1 on the season while Middle Tennessee State fell to 3-4. Indiana State won all three games of the Mule City Classic, defeating Lipscomb 10-6 Friday, Belmont 4-2 Saturday, and Middle Tennessee State Sunday.
“I thought we played just well enough to win Friday night and Stagg threw well Saturday and we got just enough hits to win a game,” Mitch Hannahs, Indiana State baseball coach, said. “Brad Lombard was sick a couple of days coming into today’s game and it was a gritty, gritty performance by him today. Eberle’s pinch hit was big for us and McClain’s home run really got us started.”
Brad Lombard improved to 2-0 on the season as he went 7.0 innings in shutting out the Blue Raiders on four hits while striking out three and walking one. Trent Lunsford worked the final two innings and did not allow a run on one hit while striking out and walking one.
The long ball got the Sycamores going in the second inning as junior left fielder Connor McClain cleared the right field fence with a three-run home run. Brian Romero reach first with a one-out single and advanced to second when Tyler Wampler was hit by a pitch before McClain’s at-bat.
One more crossed the plate in the third as Landon Curry led off with a double, went to third on a Cody Zimmerman single and then scored on a Jacob Hayes sacrifice fly to left.
The Sycamores were able to plate three more runs in the fifth. Zimmerman led off with a single and advanced to second as Hayes walked. Jeff Zahn sacrificed both up a base with a bunt down the third base line before Mike Eberle pinch hit for Romero and singled through a drawn in infield to plate Zimmerman and Hayes. Hunter Owen came on to pinch run for Eberle and came around to score on a double by Wampler.
Indiana State increased their lead to 9-0 in the seventh as Hunter Smith scored on a Derek Hannahs sacrifice and Connor McClain on a Taylor Steen single through the right side of the infield.
The Sycamores had 10 hits in the game with Zimmerman hitting two singles to lead the offense. McClain had a home run, Curry and Wampler a double each, and Hayes, Romero, Eberle, Hannahs and Steen each had a single.
Indiana State continues their road show next week with a mid-week contest at SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday and then a three-game set at the University of New Orleans over the weekend.