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Sycamores Sweep Broncos On Fieserís Walk-Off
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Courtesy: Tony Campbell/ISU Photographic Services
Senior Luke Fieser drove in the winning run...
Danny Pfrank

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - For the ninth time this season, the Indiana State University baseball team has fallen behind in a game and come back to win, as the Sycamores were able to sweep a four-game series with Western Michigan University with a pair of wins on Saturday at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium in front of 317 fans.

The Sycamores (12-5) have now won seven straight games at Bob Warn Field, and five straight overall, thanks to a 2-1 win in game one and a 13-inning 10-9 win in game two over the Broncos (2-15).

In game one, Indiana State scored one run with two outs in both the first and second innings to take the third game of the series, 2-1.

Senior Tyler Graham singled to right field with two down in the first inning and advanced to second on a fielding error by the WMU right fielder. Graham did not have to wait on the bases long, as senior Luke Fieser drove him in with a single to left field to put ISU in front 1-0.

In the second inning, freshman Jordan Pearson singled with two outs and would score from first base when senior Ben Ferrell tripled to right field to make the score 2-0.

Thanks to a dominant pitching performance from senior southpaw Joe Rodriguez (2-1), the Sycamores did not need any more runs in the game. WMU tallied a home run off of Rodriguez to start the seventh inning for their only run of the game. Rodriguez exited the game following the home run, allowing senior Scott Harlan to set down the three Bronco batters he faced for his first save of the season.

Rodriguez put together his best performance of the season, tossing six innings on the mound and allowing just one run and four hits from Western Michigan, while walking three and striking out one. Harlan struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh.

In game two, Western Michigan jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. The Sycamores would answer with two of their own in the bottom of the inning, on RBI singles from sophomore Kyle Burnam and freshman Robby Ort.

WMU put three more runs on the board in the top of the second inning to stretch their lead back out to 6-2. Indiana State would chip away at the Western Michigan lead over the next several innings, scoring one run in the second and third, three more in the fourth and two in the fifth inning.

Burnam tallied another RBI in the second, on a single that drove in senior Ryan Strausborger. Senior Ben Caple plated fellow senior Grant Grgurich with a single in the third. Burnam notched an RBI in his third straight at-bat in the third inning, on a groundout to second base, before Graham and Fieser both drove in runs to put the Sycamores in front 7-6.

The lead would grow to 9-6 with two ISU runs in the fourth inning, when Ferrell drove in Grgurich with a single through the right side of the infield. Strausborger followed Ferrell to the plate and plated Caple with a single to left field.

Western Michigan scored three runs in an inning for the third time in game two, when they tallied three in the top of the sixth to tie the score at 9-9.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 13th inning, when the Sycamores busted out of their late-game hitting slump. Before scoring in the 13th, ISU had gone three-up, three-down in five of the previous six innings.

Strausborger led off the inning with a triple to the right-center field wall. After intentional walks to Burnam and freshman Jeremy Lucas, Fieser came to the plate looking to win the game for the Sycamores. Fieser slapped a bouncing ball over the WMU pitcher's head and through the middle of the infield to plate Strausborger from third base to send the Sycamores to a 10-9 win and a series sweep of the Broncos.

Junior Blake Drake (1-1) picked up the victory in game two, tossing the final four innings on the mound without allowing a run or hit, while striking out three and walking just one batter.

After struggling at the plate during the first doubleheader with WMU, Strausborger led ISU during Saturday's double dip, going 5-9 at the plate, with two doubles, a triple and three runs scored. Burnam and Fieser both tallied three RBI on the day.

On the mound, Harlan pitched four innings of relief during the two games, allowing two hits and striking out four batters. Junior JT Stenftenagel also pitched 2.1 innings on Saturday, striking out two batters without allowing a WMU run.

The Sycamores have five home games remaining on their longest homestand of the season. Next up for ISU are the Governors of Austin Peay, who will make a trip to Bob Warn Field on Tuesday. First pitch between ISU and APSU is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET.

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