TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Illinois State scored first but it was the Sycamores who were in control most of the day as Indiana State defeated the visiting Illinois State Redbirds 9-2 in a Missouri Valley Conference game on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium Saturday.
Indiana State (17-6 overall and 2-3 in the MVC) will battle Illinois State (16-8, 3-2) in the rubber game of the series at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday. Illinois State won the series opener on Friday 5-2.
On a cloudy and cool day it was the Sycamore bats that were hot as Indiana State was able to capitalize on nine hits, two Illinois State errors, wild pitch, a balk, five walks, and three hit batters to end the Redbirds four game winning streak over Indiana State.
Illinois State jumped in front 1-0 in the top of the first inning as Sean Beesley led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Mike Hollenbeck.
The Sycamores rallied for the lead in the bottom of the second. Wampler led off with a walk, went to second on a balk, and scored the tying run on a Derek Hannahs sacrifice fly to center. Indiana State wasn’t done yet as Tony Rosselli singled, stole second and scored on Landon Curry’s RBI single. Curry scored when Cody Zimmerman tripled to right field to put the Sycamores up 3-1.
Indiana State scored another run in the fourth with two outs when Rosselli walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Curry single.
The Sycamores pushed two more across in the fifth to take a 6-1 lead. Mike Fitzgerald walked with one out and advanced to second on Tyler Wampler’s two-out infield single. Fitzgerald came around to score as Michael Eberle singled to center and Wampler scored as Hannahs singles to right.
Two more runs came across for Indiana State in the seventh without the benefit of a hit. Wampler reached on an errant throw by the Redbird shortstop which also allowed the Sycamore to advance to second. Estevez then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Wampler to third. Hannahs followed with a walk and Rosselli was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Landon Curry knocked in Wampler with a sacrifice fly to right with Hannahs moving on to third and Rosselli staying at first. Indiana State’s second run of the inning came from a throwing error by Redbird catcher Mike Hollenbeck. With Zimmerman at the plate, Rosselli took off on attempted steal with Hollenbeck’s throw going wide of its mark and into centerfield. That allowed Hannahs to score for the Sycamores and Rosselli ended up at third.
The final Indiana State run came in the eighth. Fitzgerald and Owen Conway hit back-to-back singles to open the inning with Conway out on second as Wampler hit in to a fielder’s choice. Hannahs came through with a two-out single to score Fitzgerald and give Indiana State a 9-1 lead.
Illinois State was able to load the bases in the top of the ninth but could only get one run across the plate before the side was retired.
Brad Lombard was the winning pitcher for Indiana State as he improved to 5-0 on the season in going 6.1 innings and allowing a run on five hits while striking out four and walking four. Josh Dove worked a third of an inning and gave up two hits before Ryan Keaffaber came on to finish the contest, going 2.1 innings in allowing a run on three hits while striking out two and walking two.
Curry, Fitzgerald and Hannahs had two singles each to pace the Sycamores at the plate while Zimmerman had a triple, and Hayes, Conway, Wampler, Estevez and Rosselli had a single each.
Dylan Craig lost for the first time this season as the Redbird pitcher (3-1) gave up six runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking four in 5.0 innings of work. He was relieved in the sixth by Ben Hecht with Kendall Lindley coming on in the seventh to finish the game. The two relievers combined to allow three runs on five hits while striking out three and walking one.