The Indiana State baseball team captured their 11th straight win of the 2014 season and their second straight at home as they rallied late to defeat the Western Illinois Leathernecks 8-5 Sunday on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Indiana State (11-1) and Western Illinois (1-8) will meet again at 12:00 p.m. (ET) Monday in the series finale on Bob Warn Field. The Sycamores are scheduled to host SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday before leaving for a weekend series in Wilmington, N.C., and that game may be moved up a day due to a weather system that is expected to hit the Wabash Valley on Wednesday.
Josh Dove was the third Sycamore pitcher of the day and earned his first win of the season as he did not allow a run or a hit in the final 2.1 innings of the game. Starter Brad Lombard went 6.1 innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out seven and walking one. Reliever A.J. McElderry went a third of an inning and was charged with a run on two hits.
The Sycamores scored a run in the first and one in the third on WIU starter Tyler Willman to take the early lead. Both of those runs were scored by Landon Curry and both on RBI from Jacob Hayes. Curry led off the Sycamore first by reaching on an error, stealing second, and then taking third when the throw from the WIU catcher went into centerfield. He scored on Hayes sacrifice fly to left. Curry singled with one out in the third, stole second and scored when Hayes singled into left center.
The Leathernecks scored twice in the fifth on a triple by Brent Turner, one in the fifth on a solo home run to straight away centerfield by Jake Moore, and two more in the sixth on a Jameson Henning home run to left.
Indiana State went to work on erasing that deficit in the bottom of the seventh. Cody Zimmerman led off with a double, Hayes followed with a walk and Zimmerman scored as Brian Romero hit a pinch hit single. Tyler Wampler was hit by a pitch to load the bases with Hayes scoring on a sacrifice fly to left by Jeff Zahn. Romero added the tying run when Connor McClain reached on an error and Wampler put Indiana State up for good on Derek Hannahs single to right.
The final two Sycamore runs came in the eighth when Mike Fitzgerald hit his fourth career home run and the first this season over the left field fence. That plated two runs as it followed a Hayes single to right.
Wampler and Hayes were both 3-for-4 at the plate, all singles, to lead the Indiana State offense while Fitzgerald had a home run, and Curry, Zimmerman, Romero, McClain, and Hannahs had a single each.
The 11 game win streak for Indiana State is the longest since the 2003 season when the Sycamores won 13 straight enroute to a 15-3 start to the season under Coach Bob Warn.