PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. – The Indiana State baseball team capped a weekend in the sun with a thrilling 8-6 victory over The Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday at the North Charlotte Regional Park. The Sycamores picked up their third straight win of the season in exciting fashion, rallying with four runs in the top of the ninth to take the victory.
Indiana State is now 3-1 on the season and will be in the Nashville, Tenn., area next weekend where they will play against Lipscomb, Belmont and Middle Tennessee State in the Mule City Classic.
“The great thing about today was the guys experienced some adversity when we gave up a big inning in the sixth,” Mitch Hannahs, Indiana State baseball coach, said. “We went through an inning or two where we kind of wobbled but did not get knocked out and the guys kept battling.”
Hannahs acknowledged that the team still has a lot to work on but he is proud of the effort.
“We have a tough group of guys and they are going to battle to the end,” Hannahs said. “We had a lot of guys come out of the pen. We may have had some struggles but others guys stepped up and kept us in the game. It was a tipping point type of game and it could have gotten away from us but the pitchers kept us right there and the hitters in the last inning just hit their tails off. It was a great feeling to win this game and a the kind of feeling that the kids can take back to Terre Haute.”
Just like they did the day before, Indiana State jumped on top of the Buckeyes in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Trent Wampler after the Sycamores had loaded the bases.
Indiana State scored another run in the third after Landon Curry singled and came round to score on a Zimmerman single. The Sycamores scored another run in the third when Brian Romero grounded out to first which allowed Cody Zimmerman to score from third. Another run came across in the fourth on an RBI single from Landon Curry and Indiana State increased their lead to 4-0 in the sixth on an RBI dou ble by Connor McClain.
The Buckeyes battled back to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the sixth and took the lead with two more in the eighth.
The Sycamore got to the Buckeyes closer early and never let up the pressure in rallying for the win. Indiana State loaded the basesd with one out before Fitzgerald flied out to left but it was deep enough for Curry to score. Romero followed with a two out RBI single that tied the game as Gutierrez to score. RBI singles from Wampler and Zahn pushed Indiana State’s lead to 8-6 before the side was finally retired.
Keaffaber took over on the mound for the Sycamores and shut down the Buckeyes to preserve the win for Indiana State.
Freshman Tyler Lunsford started on the hill for the Sycamores and went five innings, giving up a run on five hits while striking out three and walking one. Tyler Browning, A.J. McElderry and Nick Kolarik each took a turn on the mound before Keaffaber came on to pitch the ninth. Kolarik got the win for the Sycamores with Keaffaber picking up his second save of the season.
Indiana State banged out 12 hits on the day with Curry and Wampler each hitting three singles, Zimmerman two, McClain a double, and Fitzgerald, Romero, and Zahn each hit a single.