NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Indiana State baseball team recorded their fourth straight victory and opened the Mule City Classic with a 10-6 victory over the Lipscomb Bisons Friday at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium on the campus of Lipscomb University.
The Sycamores never trailed in the contest, scoring a single run in the first, two in the third, and three in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead they never relinquished.
Indiana State used five pitchers in the game with Kurt Kudrecki (1-1) earning his first victory of the young season in going 5.2 innings and allowing a run on three hits while striking out seven and walking six. Josh Dove worked an inning, A.J. McElderry an inning and a third, and Nick Kolarik a third of an inning. Ryan Keaffaber worked the final two-thirds of an inning to earn his third save of the year.
Junior centerfielder Landon Curry has now hit safely in the first five games of the season as he led off the game with a single for Indiana State. Curry raced around the base to score when red shirt junior right fielder Jacob Hayes drove a pitch off the left field wall for a double and a 1-0 Sycamore lead.
Hayes picked up two more RBI in the top of the third with the Sycamores first home run of the season over the right field fence. Senior designated hitter Cody Zimmerman hit a one out double down the left field line just before Hayes hit his first career home run.
Indiana State picked up three more runs in the fifth. Hayes led off the inning as he reached on a wild pitch after swinging on a third strike. He stole second and went to third on another wild pitch before scoring on an RBI single to right by junior third baseman Brian Romero. Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler followed with a single but was out on at second when red shirt junior Connor McClain hit a fielder’s choice. Romero and McClain both scored on a triple into the right field corner by red shirt sophomore Jeff Zahn.
After Lipscomb scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Sycamores came back with one of their own in the top of the sixth. Curry walked to open the frame and advanced to third after Hayes bunted and reached safely on a throwing error by the Bison’s catcher. Senior catcher Mike Fitzgerald was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Wampler walked to score Curry from third.
Indiana State made it 8-1 in the seventh as Zahn led off with a single and advanced to third before Zimmerman drove a two-out RBI single through the middle of the infield.
Lipscomb scored two in the seventh and two in the eighth to cut into the Indiana State advantage.
The Sycamores were able to gain two of those runs back in the top half of the ninth. Zahn led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by red shirt junior second baseman Derrick Hannahs. Curry was hit by a pitch and stole second before Zahn scored and Curry went to third on a wild pitch. Curry scored on Zimmerman’s second RBI single of the game to put Indiana State up 10-5.
The Bisons added a run in the bottom of the ninth and was threatening before the Sycamores stopped the rally and posted their fourth straight win.
Zimmerman and Zahn had three hits each for Indiana State with Zimmerman hitting a double and two singles and Zahn a triple, double, and a single. Hayes had a home run and a single, Romero two singles, and Wampler and Curry had a single each.
The Sycamores improve to 4-1 on the season and will play at Belmont at 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday in their second game of the Mule City Classic. Lipscomb (0-5) will host Dayton on Saturday.