TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Six different Indiana State University baseball players picked up RBIs on Tuesday afternoon, as the Sycamore baseball team cruised to a 10-4 victory over the visiting Chicago State University Cougars at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium in front of 194 fans.
ISU (15-7, 1-2 MVC) completed their nine-game homestand to close out the month of March with a balanced offensive attack that saw the Sycamores pick up runs in five of the eight innings that they came to plate. Indiana State scored three in the second inning, single runs in the third, fourth and fifth and squandered any chance of a Cougar comeback with four more runs in the eighth inning.
The Sycamores' three runs in the second inning all came with two outs in the inning, beginning with an RBI single through the middle of the infield from freshman Jeremy Lucas to plate senior Luke Fieser. Senior Grant Grgurich and senior Ben Ferrell would load the bases with back-to-back singles after Lucas, before senior Ryan Strausborger drove Grgurich and Ferrell home with a two-RBI single to center field to make the 3-0 in favor of ISU.
ISU's run in the third inning came when Fieser led off the inning with his second home run of the season.
Freshman Robby Ort drove in the ISU run in the fourth inning, on a sacrifice fly to left field to score senior Tyler Graham. The sacrifice fly was the 21st this season for the Sycamores, a total that ranks them at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference and in the top 10 in the nation.
Chicago State (1-12) would notch their only runs of the game in the top of the fifth inning, scoring four runs with two outs to cut the ISU lead to 5-4.
Strausborger tallied an RBI in the fifth inning to extend the Sycamore lead to two runs, at 6-4, on a fielder's choice ground out with the bases loaded to score Lucas.
ISU's pitching and defense shut down any threat of a Cougar rally over their final four innings at the plate, turning two double plays and not allowing a CSU batter to reach second base.
The Sycamores put the game out of reach in the eighth by putting four more runs on the board. Sophomore Kyle Burnam and Graham led off the inning with back-to-back singles before Fieser singled to right-center field to bring Burnam home. Ort would be hit by a pitch when he came to plate next to load the bases. CSU would get the next two outs, but gave up back-to-back bases loaded walks to freshman Jordan Pearson and Ferrell before allowing the final run of the game to score on a fielding error by the Cougar shortstop.
On the day, Fieser and Grgurich both picked up three hits at the plate. Strausborger led the way with three RBI, while Fieser recorded a pair. Fieser led ISU with three runs scored with Graham and Lucas both scoring twice.
On the mound, ISU used seven different pitchers, with senior Scott Harlan (1-0) picking up the victory by getting the Sycamores out of the jam in the fifth and staying on the mound through the sixth inning.
The Sycamores will hit the road for the next eight games on their schedule, beginning this weekend with a MVC series in Omaha, Nebraska, against the Creighton Bluejays. Indiana State will have to get used to being on the road the rest of the season, as the team has just seven games left at Bob Warn Field out of a total of 29 games on the 2010 schedule.
The series with Creighton begins on Friday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio AM 1130 and 1300 and online at http://www.espnsportsradio.com.