DATES: Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13
TIMES: Fri. – 7:30 p.m. | Sat. 3:00 p.m. | Sun., 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Carbondale, Ill. (Itchy Jones Stadium)
PROBABLE STARTERS: (Indiana State listed first)
Game 1: LHP David Stagg (5-2, 2.50 ERA) vs. RHP Sam Coonrod (0-4, 3.60 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Brad Lombard (6-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. RHP Todd Eaton (2-2, 4.68 ERA)
Game 3: RHP Kurt Kudrecki (4-3, 3.92 ERA) vs. LHP Aaron Hauge (3-2 2.58 ERA)
ISU - Mitch Hannahs (21-9) in first season as ISU head coach, first overall
SIU - Ken Henderson (108-118) in fourth season as SIU head coach, fourth overall
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Indiana State (21-9, 5-4 MVC) returns to Missouri Valley Conference action this weekend as they travel southwest to Carbondale, Ill., to take on the Southern Illinois University Salukis (17-15, 2-4 MVC) for three games. Both teams have two-game losing streaks, Indiana State falling at #7 Vanderbilt and #23 Indiana in mid-week action while SIU lost to Bradley and at Southeast Missouri.
The Sycamores have a three game winning streak in the Valley after sweeping Wichita State last weekend to improve to 5-4 in conference action. The SIU series is their fourth of the season and the second on the road as Indiana State was 1-2 in games at Evansville on the opening weekend of conference play and 1-2 at home against Illinois State.
This is the third conference series for the Salukis who lost two of three games at Missouri State and also dropped two of three on the home field to the Bradley Braves.
Friday Starters: Indiana State junior left hander David Stagg (5-2) will make his ninth start of the season and brings a 2.50 ERA into the game. He ranks sixth in the Valley for strike outs (50), tied for third in batters stuck out looking (16), ninth in opposing batting average (.217) and fifth in innings pitched (50.1). He will oppose junior right hander Sam Coonrod (0-4) who will be making his 34th career start for SIU and ninth of the season and has a 3.60 ERA.
Saturday Starters: Indiana State junior right hander Brad Lombard (6-0) is also making his ninth start of the season and brings a 2.50 ERA into the game. He ranks 14th in the Valley for strike outs (36), sixth in opposing batting average (.206), and third in innings pitched (54.0). He will oppose senior right hander Todd Eaton (2-2) will be making his ninth start (12th start of his career) and has a 4.68 ERA.
Sunday Starters: Indiana State senior right hander Kurt Kudrecki (4-23) will be making his ninth start of the season and the 12th of his career and brings a 3.92 ERA into the game. He will be opposed by junior left hander Aaron Hauge (3-2) as he makes his seventh start as a Saluki. He will enter the game with a 2.58 ERA.
Series Notes: When the two teams take the field on Friday it will mark the 166th time the two schools have met on the baseball field since 1967. Southern Illinois leads the all-time series 92-73 and has a 54-25 advantage in games played in Carbondale, Ill. Indiana State has won the seven meetings including a 5-0 win in the 2013 MVC tournament and a sweep of the regular season series played in Terre Haute (8-1, 1-0, 8-4).
Last Time Out
Indiana State scored first but Indiana scored eight unanswered runs and held off a Sycamore rally late in the game as the 23rd ranked Hoosiers defeated Indiana State 8-4 in a mid-week non-conference battle Wednesday.
The Sycamores took the lead in the top of the second inning when Manuel Estevez sent a 1-2 pitch over the left center field fence for a two-out solo home run. It was the second career home run as a Sycamore for the junior college transfer with his first coming against Western Illinois earlier this season.
Indiana State continued to fight late into the game scoring three times in the eighth.
Singles from Landon Curry and Cody Zimmerman followed by a walk to Jacob Hayes loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth. Mike Fitzgerald singled up the middle to score Curry before Jeff Zahn grounded out to first which allowed Zimmerman to score. Hayes scored the final run of the inning for the Sycamores as Tyler Wampler grounded out to short.
Indiana tied the game in the bottom of the second and added two in the fourth, three in the fifth, and two in the seventh enroute to the win.
It was a work day for a bevy of Sycamore relievers led off by freshman left hander Ryan Keaffaber who started and went two innings and gave up a run on one hit. Nick Kolarik went two innings (two runs on two hits), John Patterson went a third (three runs on three hits), Mike Hammel 2.2 innings (two runs on two hits), and Austin Conway one inning (no runs on one hit).
The Sycamores ended up with nine hits in the game with Indiana State led by Manuel Estevez with a solo home run and two singles in four trips to the plate Landon Curry and Cody Zimmerman had two singles each with Jacob Hayes and Mike Fitzgerald each hitting a single.
Sycamores Move Up In RPI
Indiana State has moved up in the RPI standings released by the NCAA this week, improving four spots to 21st. The Sycamores currently rank 22nd according to WarrenNolen.com .
Sycamores Receiving Votes
The Sycamores received votes in both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and USA Today/Coach’s Poll after going 4-0 last week with a mid-week win over Austin Peay and a sweep of Wichita State in a Missouri Valley Conference series. The only other Valley team to receive votes was Dallas Baptist (23-8).
College Baseball Insider Honorable Mention
The Sycamores received an Honorable Mention honor for the Central Region from College Baseball Insider after posting a 4-0 record last week. Nebraska was the Central Region team of the team as they split with Arkansas and swept Ohio State.
Keaffaber Nationally Ranked In Saves
Sycamore freshman LHP Ryan Keaffaber (Wabash, Ind.) leads the Missouri Valley Conference and ranks 13th nationally in saves after picking up his seventh and eighth this past weekend. The freshman has made 14 appearances this season and has a 2.62 ERA in 24.0 innings of work.