EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Indiana State Sycamores evened up their opening Missouri Valley Conference series of the year Saturday as junior right hander Brad Lombard worked a complete game and led Indiana State to a 4-1 victory over the Evansville Purple Aces.
Lombard, starting his sixth game of the season, won his fourth against no defeats as he limited the Aces to a run on four hits while striking out four and walking two. The junior also has two no-decisions this season.
The last Sycamore to throw a complete game was Devin Moore against Southern Illinois in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Illinois State.
Indiana State got the scoring started early. Landon Curry led off the game with a walk but he was wiped out when Cody Zimmerman hit into a double play. The Aces looked like they would end the inning when Jacob Hayes hit a high fly ball to left center field which was dropped by the centerfield.
Hayes ended up at second base on the play and that opened the door for the Sycamore offense. Mike Fitzgerald singled up the middle to score Hayes with the first run of the game. Brian Romero followed with a double to left center and Tyler Wampler matched that with a double to center that scored Fitzgerald and Romero for a 3-0 Sycamore lead.
The only inning that the Aces threatened came in the fourth when Jake Mahon and Kevin Kaczmarski reached on infield singles. Boomer Synek had a one out walked that loaded the bases and Jonathan Ramon hit a deep fly to center to score Mahon from third.
That was the only Aces run as Lombard retired 16 of the next 17 batters.
Indiana State did get that run back in the eighth as Brian Romero led off with a single up the middle and went to second on Tyler Wampler’s sacrifice bunt. Jeff Zahn was hit by a pitch and Connor McClain walked to load the bases with just one out. Derek Hannahs hit a deep fly to right that scored Romero but the Sycamore threat was stopped after that.
Connor Strain (0-2) picked up the loss for Evansville in allowing three runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two in 4.2 innings of work. Brent Jurceka went 3.1 innings in giving up a run on one hit while striking out two and walking two while Matt Rogers worked one inning, giving up a hit while striking out two.
Jake Mahon, Kevin Kaczmarski, Kyle Pollock and Jarod Perry each had a single for the Aces.
Indiana State (15-4, 1-1) and Evansville (11-7, 1-1) will square off in the rubber game of the three-game set at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday.