TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Indiana State
baseball team scored five runs in the opening two innings on Saturday, carrying
that early advantage to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Dallas Baptist Patriots
to level the weekend series from Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Indiana State picked up their 30th win of the season, improving to 30-10 on the year while Dallas Baptist fell to 27-11 overall.
Dallas Baptist opened the scoring for the second straight game, with four of the first five batters of the game reaching base as the Patriots scored two runs on three hits. Sophomore Sean Manaea avoided further damage in the first inning by retiring the next two batters with two runners on base.
Indiana State regained the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame, as the Sycamores scored four runs in the first inning. Junior Robby Ort brought home the first run of the game, plating freshman Landon Curry with a one-out sacrifice fly to left. ISU's next three runs came on their only hit of the inning two batters later when junior Ryan Walterhouse lined a three-run home run down the right field line, squeezing his fourth home run of the season just inside the foul pole for a 4-2 ISU lead.
The Sycamores made it 5-2 in the second inning, when junior Jeremy Lucas' line-drive to short with the bases loaded was just inches too high for a leaping Joel Hutter, scoring senior Lucas Hileman from third.
The Patriots cut the ISU lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning, as Hutter grounded out to bring Ronnie Mitchell across the plate.
After their three hits in the first inning off Manaea, the Patriots tallied just three over the next five innings on the mound against the ISU sophomore.
ISU scored the game's final run in the seventh inning, tacking on an insurance run when Ort hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to score redshirt junior Koby Kraemer.
Manaea (4-1) earned the victory, scattering seven hits in six innings while allowing three runs (two earned) with four strikeouts. Out of the ISU bullpen, sophomore Kurt Kudrecki worked a scoreless seventh inning before junior Devin Moore earned his first save of the season with three strikeouts over the eighth and ninth innings.
Lucas led ISU with a pair of hits, while Walterhouse drove in three runs with his fourth home run of the season. Ort picked up two sacrifice flies to push his team-leading total to six.
First pitch of Sunday's rubber match has been moved up one hour, as Indiana State and Dallas Baptist will begin their final game at 12:00 p.m. (Noon). ISU will send junior right-hander Ryan Torgerson (6-1, 2.81 ERA) to the mound against DBU's junior southpaw Andrew Elkins (2-0, 4.11 ERA).