TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Home has never seemed as sweet as it does for the Indiana State baseball team right now as the will enjoy a two-week home stand after playing 17 of their first 20 games on the road including the first 10 games of the season and the last seven.
The Sycamores (15-5) begin an eight-game stretch of games on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium when they host the Indiana Hoosiers (12-9) at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesday. The game time was moved up due to expected cool temperatures on Wednesday.
The Hoosiers won a weekend home Big 10 Conference series against the Michigan Wolverines as Indiana posted a 5-3 victory on Friday and a 5-1 win on Saturday. Michigan avoided the sweep by taking the series finale on Sunday 4-3.
Indiana State and Indiana will square off in the 99th renewal of the series which dates back to March 26, 1898. The Hoosiers hold a 56-40-2 edge in the series including an 8-1 victory over the Sycamores last year in Bloomington. The two teams split the season aeries in 2012 with Indiana State winning in Terre Haute 13-8 and Indiana winning a close battle in Bloomington 8-7.
The same two teams will meet again in two weeks (April 9) at Bloomington.
Family Night / Employee Appreciation Night
Bring the family to Bob Warn Field Wednesday for an afternoon of outstanding collegiate baseball between in-state rivals Indiana State and Indiana. Those attending who purchase two adult tickets will receive two additional tickets at no cost as part of the Family Day activities. It will also be Employee Appreciation Day so bring your staff out the ball park. Group ticket pricing is available.
Illinois State To Visit For Weekend Conference Series
Defending Missouri Valley Conference regular season champion Illinois State (15-6) will make a return trip to Terre Haute for a three-game weekend conference series. First pitch in the series opener on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. (ET) Friday with a 2 p.m. (ET) start time for Saturday and 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
The Redbirds were in Terre Haute last weekend for their opening MVC series against Bradley due to unplayable conditions at Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Ill. Illinois State swept a twin bill on Friday (13-1 and 7-6) while Bradley won the Saturday game 3-1.
When Indiana State takes the field against Illinois State on Friday, it will mark the 169th meeting between the two schools in a series which dates back to 1948. Indiana State has a 94-74 edge in the series but was swept in the Missouri Valley Conference series at Normal, Ill., a year ago as the Redbirds won 4-2, 9-1 and 0-2 in the three-game set.
Indiana State won 2-of-3 in Terre Haute against Illinois State in 2012 as they won the final two games of the series 7-3 and 11-3 after dropping the opener 3-2.
Last Time Out
Indiana State opened their 2014 Missouri Valley Conference season at Evansville while the Purple Aces took two of the three games, both by 5-2 counts, to take series two games to one. The Purple Aces victory on Friday came at the expense of Indiana State’s three-game winning streak in Valley openers while the Sunday Evansville win ended a streak of three straight opening series victories by the Sycamores.
The highlight of the weekend for Indiana State came in the middle game as junior Brad Lombard threw a complete game against the Purple Aces and recorded his fourth win without a loss as Indiana State won 4-1. Lombard limited the Aces to just one run while scattering four hits, striking out four and walking two in facing 32 batters over nine innings.
Sycamores Move Up In RPI
Indiana State currently ranks 25th in RPI nationally according to WarrenNolen.com and has a 4-2 record against teams in the top 50 including two wins over Ohio State (19th) and two over UNC-Wilmington (47th). One of the two losses was to UNC-Wilmington while the other was to the Auburn Tigers (20th).
In the Rankings
Jacob Hayes leads the Missouri Valley Conference and ranks 10th nationally in triples (4) and triples per game (0.20). He also ranks third in the Valley in total bases (42)
Indiana State has three in the top 10 of players toughest to strike out in the Valley led by Landon Curry (second at 14.7) and followed by Derrick Hannahs (third at 12.8) and Tyler Wampler (fifth at 11.3). Hannahs also ranks second in the Valley for sacrifice bunts (5) and sacrifice bunts per game (0.25) while Curry is fifth in stolen bases (11) and stolen bases per game (0.55).
Mike Fitzgerald ranks second in the Valley and 16th nationally in being hit by a pitch per game (0.47). He also ranks third in the Valley in being hit by a pitch (8), third home runs (3), third in home runs per game (0.18), and ranking fourth in on-base percentage (.494).
Cody Zimmerman is third in the Valley in hits (29).
Ryan Keaffaber leads the Valley in saves and ranks 14th in the nation with six saves on the season.