BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana State University baseball team pounded out 15 hits and 17 runs on Wednesday afternoon, en route to topping in-state rival Indiana University, 17-4, at Sembower Field in Bloomington, Ind., in front of 401 fans.
Indiana State (27-12) took an early four-run lead over the Hoosiers, scoring three runs after an Indiana throwing error in the top of the first inning. With one out, sophomore Kyle Burnam laced a pitch into the left-center field gap for a double, before being pushed over to third after back-to-back walks to senior Luke Fieser and freshman Robby Ort. The Hooisers looked to get out of the inning without any runs when freshman Jeremy Lucas grounded out to shortstop Michael Basin, but Basin's throw to first went out of play to score Fieser from second. Senior Tyler Graham came up next and replaced Lucas at second with a double down the right field line and would score when junior Phil Liniger singled to center field for a 4-0 ISU lead.
Indiana (20-19) cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second inning, scoring once on a double by second baseman Tyler Rogers and again on an RBI ground out by Wes Wilson.
The Sycamores responded with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning, with a single to left field by senior Ryan Strausborger plating Liniger and fellow senior Grant Grgurich to put ISU back up four runs, at 6-2.
ISU expanded their lead to nine over IU with five more runs in the top of the sixth inning, as the Sycamores brought 11 batters to the plate in the sixth to take an 11-2 lead. Senior Ben Ferrell, Burnam, Ort, Lucas and Graham all tallied RBIs in the inning for the Sycamores.
After the Hoosiers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Sycamores put up two of their own in the top of the following inning, to increase their lead to 13-4. For the second time in the game, Lucas grounded into what appeared to be a double play, but an errant throw from Rogers allowed Lucas to reach and for Fieser to score from second. Junior Levi Ferguson pinch-hit for ISU later in the inning and drove in Lucas from second base.
The Sycamores continued to score late in the game, plating four runs in the top of the ninth inning. Ort highlighted the inning with a three-run homer to right-center field fence, his team-leading fourth home run this season.
Ort led ISU at the plate on Wednesday, going 1-2 at the plate with a three-run home run to go along with four RBIs. Strausborger led ISU in hits with a 3-5 effort at the dish.
Indiana State returns to Terre Haute and Bob Warn Field for the final time this weekend, when they host the Missouri State Bears in a Missouri Valley Conference series. The baseball team will be hosting Alumni Weekend, along with Senior Day on Sunday.