TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - It is becoming all too common for the Indiana State University baseball team in 2010. For the fourteenth time this season, the Sycamores rallied for a late-inning victory, scoring two runs in the eighth inning to slip past the Franklin College Grizzlies, 6-4, on Wednesday night at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Franklin (18-9) jumped ahead early on the Sycamores, scoring a single run in the first inning and three in the third to take a 4-2 lead after three innings. Freshman Jordan Pearson kept Indiana State in the game early, however, cracking a two-run double over the head of the Franklin centerfielder with two outs in the second inning to plate freshman Jake Hartley and junior Levi Ferguson.
Indiana State (24-11) began their late charge by tying the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Ryan Strausborger led off the inning with a bunt single down the third base line before moving up on the bases with a stolen base. Senior Luke Fieser drove in Strausborger from second base with a single to shallow center field and, after a bunt single by freshman Robby Ort, Fieser would score from second base on a single through the left side of the infield by freshman Jeremy Lucas to tie the game at 4-4.
Strausborger's bunt single and stolen base in the sixth inning extended his hitting streak to 20 games and his stolen base streak to 12 in a row.
After seniors Kevin Mann and Scott Harlan held the Grizzlies in the seventh and eighth innings, Lucas provided the game-winning hit in the bottom half of the eighth inning. With senior Ben Ferrell on third base, Lucas dropped a perfectly placed bunt down the third base line to put the Sycamores up 5-4. Lucas would score the final run of the game on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Harlan (2-1) picked up the victory on Wednesday night, striking out two batters while holding the Grizzlies in the top of the eighth. Freshman Tyler Browning entered in the ninth inning, also picking up two strikeouts while on the mound.
A pair of West Vigo High School alums led ISU at the plate on Wednesday, with Pearson going 2-4 at the plate with two RBIs and Lucas also going 2-4 with one run batted in. In his first significant action since suffering an injury against Illinois State, Ferguson picked out two hits at the plate.
The Sycamores return to Missouri Valley Conference action this weekend, hitting the road for a three-game set against Southern Illinois. First pitch on Friday is set for 4:00 p.m. and can be heard live on ESPN Radio AM 1130 and 1300.