Indiana State exploded for 12 runs on 16 hits as the Sycamores turned back the visiting Indiana Hoosiers 12-8 in a mid-week non-conference battle Wednesday on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Indiana State (16-5) will return to Missouri Valley Conference action this weekend as they host the Illinois State Redbirds (15-7) for three conference games. Illinois State lost to Illinois 6-1 Wednesday.
“We had some good pitching from Lunsford to start the game and from the bull pen the rest of the way,” Mitch Hannahs, Indiana State baseball coach, said. “What really impressed me about this game is the way our guys responded in the seventh inning after Indiana came back,”
Indiana State took the lead in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed although Indiana did rally in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to one.
The Sycamores scored three runs in the bottom of the first as Landon Curry led off with a single with Cody Zimmerman and Jacob Hayes hitting back-to-back doubles off of Indiana starter Sullivan Stadler. That put Indiana State up 2-0 but the Sycamores were able to make it 3-0 as Hayes scored on a Michael Eberle sacrifice fly to center.,
Indiana State added two more in the second with two outs. Connor McClain got the Sycamores going with a single up the middle and came around to score as Curry’s line drive to left was misplayed by the Hoosier left fielder. Curry ended up at second and made it 5-0 Indiana State when he scored on Zimmerman’s RBI single.
The Hoosiers got on the scoreboard in the top of the third when Tim O’Conner led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored on a Sam Travis RBI single to center.
The Sycamores got that run back in the bottom of the sixth after Mike Fitzgerald singled to center and extended his reaching base safely streak to 17 games. After Tyler Wampler was hit by a pitch, Fitzgerald came around to score on an RBI single from Derek Hannahs.
Things got interesting after that. Indiana came out fighting in the seventh with Casey Smith leading off with a single and advancing when Will Nolden walked. Both came around to score on a Craig Dedelow double that cut the Indiana State lead to 6-3. Dedelow scored when Casey Rodrigue reached on an error. Kyle Schwarber followed with a single to score Rodrigue which cut the Indiana State lead to one at 6-5.
The Sycamores were determined not to let the game slip away from them and scored six runs on five hits and an Indiana error.
Curry led off the Sycamore half of the seventh with a single and went to second on a Zimmerman sacrifice bunt. Hayes followed with a walk and Fitzgerald added a single to score Curry. After Brian Romero walked to load the bases, Zimmerman scored as Wampler reached on an error. Jeff Zahn pushed two across with a double to left center and Hannahs also pushed two across the plate with a single up the middle.
By the time the high scoring seventh was done, 10 runs were scored (six by Indiana State) and seven pitchers were sent to the mound (four by Indiana).
The Hoosiers were able to plate two more runs, that in the ninth, as Nick Ramos and Travis singled around a walk to Schwarber which loaded the bases with one out. A Dunley sacrifice fly scored one and the other came across on a double by Dustin DeMuth.
Trent Lunsford started for Indiana State and worked four innings, allowing a run on three hits while striking out four. Nick Kolarik took over to start the fifth and improved to 2-0 on the year as he did not allow a run and just one hit in 1.2 innings of work. A.J. McElderry, Josh Dove, and Ryan Keaffaber also saw action late in the game as they combined to allow seven runs on six hits while striking out two and walking two.
Landon Curry led the Sycamore offense with four singles in five trips to the plate. It was his seventh multiple hit game of the season and the second time he has had four hits in a game. Cody Zimmerman and Jacob Hayes had a double and a single each. It was Zimmerman’s 11th multiple-hit game of the season. Derek Hannahs had two singles and three RBIs in the game while Jeff Zahn had a double, and Manuel Estevez and Tyler Wampler had a single each.