Indiana State accomplished a rare feat in the annuals of Sycamore baseball as they defeated the visiting Wichita State Shockers 5-4 Sunday to earn their first ever sweep in a three-game series over the Missouri Valley Conference opponent.
Indiana State improves to 21-7 overall and 5-4 in the MVC with the victory. The Sycamores will play two mid-week games at Vanderbilt Tuesday and at Indiana on Wednesday before returning to MVC action at Southern Illinois next weekend. Wichita State falls to 16-14 overall and 2-4 in the Valley.
“This was the kind of weekend we really needed,” Mitch Hannahs, Indiana State baseball coach said. “The guys really battled.”
Kurt Kudrecki (4-3) started on the mound for Indiana State and went five innings to earn the win, allowing a run on four hits while striking out four and walking none. A.J. McElderry and Nick Kolarik each worked in relief before Sycamore stopper Ryan Keaffaber was called on to throw the ninth. It was Keaffaber’s eighth save of the season and the second this weekend.
Indiana State never trailed in the series as they built a 3-0 lead with a run in the second and two in the third. They added two more in the fifth after Wichita State scored one in the fourth. The Shockers added two more in the sixth and one in the ninth.
Derek Hannahs posted his team high 20th RBI of the season in the second inning to put Indiana State in front. Jeff Zahn had singled up the middle with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch Hannahs followed with his single to right field to score Zahn and give the Sycamores a 1-0 lead.
In the third, freshman Tony Rosselli crushed the first pitch he saw in the third inning over the left field fence for his the first home run of his Indiana State career. The hit also plated Mike Fitzgerald who had walked for the second straight time as the Sycamores went up 3-0.
Wichita State scored a run in the top of the fourth when Casey Gillaspie sent the ball over the right field fence for a solo home run. The Shockers also loaded the bases in the fifth but Kudrecki was able to work out of the jam to preserve Indiana State’s lead.
The Sycamores made it 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Rosselli picked up his third and fourth RBI of the game. Jacob Hayes singled with one out and stole second before Fitzgerald walked for the third time in the game. Rosselli followed with a double off the right field wall to score Hayes and Fitzgerald.
The Shockers picked up two runs in the sixth, one coming on Gillaspie’s second solo home run of the game and this one clearing the right centerfield fence. Back-to-back singles and an error on the Sycamores allowed another run to score as Wichita State cut the Indiana State lead to 5-3.
Wichita State mounted a rally in the top of the ninth with one out. Tanner Dearman singled with one out, went to second on Dayne Parker’s sacrifice bunt, stole third and scored on an Indiana State error. The Shockers had the tying run at third but Sycamore stopper Ryan Keaffaber was able to record the final out to preserve the win.
Indiana State had nine hits in the game led by Tony Rosselli who had a career night with a home run, double and a single in four trips to the plate. He also had 4 RBI in the game. Jacob Hayes had three singles in four trips to the plate while Tyler Wampler had a double, and Jeff Zahn and Derek Hannahs had a single each.