TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Indiana State University baseball team rode a 132-pitch, 11-strikeout complete game performance from junior starting pitcher Jacob Petricka to top the visiting Missouri State University Bears on Friday night at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium in front of 684 fans.
Petricka picked up his seventh win of the season of Friday night, allowing just six hits and one run over nine innings on the mound. With the win, Petricka pushed his ERA in conference games down to just 1.70 over five starts.
The Sycamores (28-12, 7-5 MVC) gave Petricka plenty of early run support, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Ryan Strausborger led off the game with his team-leading eighth triple of the season by lacing a pitch into the right-center field gap. Strausborger would score the first run of the game when sophomore Kyle Burnam singled when he came up next. Two batters later, freshman Robby Ort hit his team-high fifth home run of the season on an opposite-field hit over the left-center field wall to make the score 3-0 ISU.
ISU continued to add to the lead in the fifth, with senior Grant Grgurich leading off the inning with a bunt single to third base. Grgurich would cross the plate on Ferrell's second RBI of the game, a double into the left-center field gap.
Missouri State (17-23, 3-7 MVC) got their lone run off Petricka in the top of the sixth inning, stringing together a walk and a pair of singles to cut the ISU lead to 5-1.
The Sycamores closed the door in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three runs with two outs in the inning. Senior Luke Fieser began the rally with a single to right field before being pushed to second when Ort drew a walk. Freshman Jeremy Lucas came to the plate next and sent a ball high above the infield and into the stiff wind blowing on Friday night. The ball continued to get pushed into shallow left field and fell just behind MSU shortstop Travis McComack, allowing both Fieser and Ort to score on the play. Senior Tyler Graham finished off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield to plate Lucas, giving ISU an 8-1 advantage.
Petricka shut down all three Missouri State batters in the top of the ninth for the first complete game this season for an ISU pitcher. The last complete game thrown by a Sycamore came last season on April 26, when senior Joe Rodriguez went seven innings in a 16-5 victory over Oakland City.
Each member of the Indiana State starting lineup picked up a hit on Friday night, with Lucas and Grgurich both tallying two. Ort, Lucas and Ferrell all totaled a pair of RBIs with Ort also scoring twice in the game.
The Sycamores and Bears play the second game of their series on Saturday, with first pitch slated for 2:00 p.m. ISU will send senior south paw Joe Rodriguez (4-1, 5.26 ERA) to the mound against MSU's Pat Doyle (4-6, 3.77 ERA). Indiana State will officially dedicate Bob Warn Field on Saturday with festivities beginning at 1:30 p.m. All the action on Saturday can be heard live on ESPN Radio AM 1130 & 1300.