The Indiana State baseball team remained perfect on Saturday’s as they swept a twin bill from the visiting Wichita State Shockers 3-0 and 3-2 on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium. The two teams were scheduled to play a single game Friday night but that contest was postponed due to strong winds and cold temperatures.
Indiana State improved to 20-7 on the 2014 campaign which marks the fifth straight year that the Sycamores have won 20 games in a season. The double win also improved their Missouri Valley Conference record to 4-4 as Indiana State won their first conference series of the season.
The Sycamores will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon as they take on the Wichita State Shockers (16-13, 2-3 MVC) at 1 p.m. . Senior right hander Kurt Kudrecki (3-3) will take the mound for Indiana State while freshman right hander Sam Tewes (4-1) goes for the Shockers.
Junior David Stagg went six and a third innings to chalk up the win in the opening game for Indiana State, shutting out the Shockers on four hits while striking out nine and walking five. Freshman Trent Lunsford took over in the seventh and retired eight straight Wichita batters in earning his third save of the season.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Indiana State took the lead with a single run on two hits. Those two hits were back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning, the first by Jacob Hayes and the second by Mike Fitzgerald, as the Sycamores took the lead for good.
Indiana State added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth although they probably would not have needed it as well as the Sycamores were pitching. Fitzgerald single with one out and advanced when Tyler Wampler reached on a Wichita State error. Both came around to score as Jeff Zahn hit a double off the right centerfield fence.
The Sycamores scored three runs on 11 hits led by Fitzgerald who was 3-for-4 for his eighth multiple hit game of the season. The senior catcher had a double, two singles, and an RBI. Zahn had a double, single and two RBI, while Derek Hannahs and Connor McClain had two singles each, Hayes a double and Landon Curry a single.
The nightcap began just the way the opener did as Indiana State held Wichita State scores while taking a 2-0 lead. After the Shockers tied the game with two in the seventh, the Sycamores came up with a single run in the bottom half and held on for the victory.
Junior Brad Lombard remained undefeated on the season as he improved to 6-0 in his eighth start of the 2014 campaign. Lombard gave up the two Shocker runs, one earned, on four hits while striking out four and walking one in eighth innings of work. Freshman Ryan Keaffaber worked the ninth and shut down Wichita State with one strikeout and one walk for his seventh save of the season.
The Sycamores continued their momentum in the third inning of the second game as Taylor Steen walked with out, went to second as Curry grounded out, and then scored the first run of the game off an RBI single from Cody Zimmerman.
The second Indiana State run came in the sixth after Tyler Wampler singled to left with two outs. The Sycamore shortstop raced around to score as Zahn tripled off the right centerfield wall.
Although the Shockers threatened in several innings both ends of the double header, Wichita State was only able to score in the seventh inning of the second game. The Shockers Casey Gillaspie hit the first pitch he saw as he led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. Daniel Kihle singled with one out, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by the Sycamore catcher. Kihle scored the tying run when Dayne Parker grounded out to short.
Indiana State answered in the bottom half of the inning, again scoring a run with two outs. Three consecutive singles from Zimmerman, Hayes and Fitzgerald loaded the bases before Connor McClain worked the count and earned a walk which scored Zimmerman with what turned out to be the winning run.
The Sycamores retired six of the next seven Shocker batters, giving up just a walk to Chase Simpson in the ninth, to earn their first back-to-back wins over Wichita State since the 2012 season.
Indiana State scored three runs on 10 hits in the game led by Zimmerman had four singles in four trips to the plate, his 12th multiple hit game of the season, and an RBI. Zahn had a triple and a single while Wampler had two singles, and Hayes and Fitzgerald had a single each.
Indiana State is now 11-0 in games played on Saturday’s this season.