EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The Indiana State University baseball team took advantage of three errors by the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville defense in the top of the second inning to take a non-conference matchup on Tuesday night by a score of 7-5.
The Sycamores (31-15) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on Tuesday, with senior Ryan Strausborger, sophomore Kyle Burnam and senior Luke Fieser tallying back-to-back-to-back singles to begin the game. Burnam's single plated Strausborger, who had stolen second base earlier in Burnam's at-bat.
ISU broke the game open during the following inning, scoring six runs on three errors by the SIUE infield. Senior Ben Ferrell knocked an RBI single during the inning, while Strausborger notched a two-RBI double and freshman Robby Ort recorded an RBI on a ground out to short. Four of the six runs scored in the inning where unearned, as the Sycamores took a 7-0 lead after the top of the second.
The Cougars (14-34) began to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the third inning, with SIUE tallying on run on ground out by right fielder Dustin Brooks.
A pair of SIUE relievers held the ISU offense in check for the rest of the game, with Luke Ingersoll and Kyle Dodson pitching the final eight innings of the game. The two Cougar relievers combined to allow just two hits and two walks while striking out nine Sycamore batters. In fact, all six of Dodson's outs where recorded via strikeout.
SIUE scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning and once more in the ninth inning, before freshman closer Tyler Browning shut the door for good. With the save, Browning moves into the lead in the Missouri Valley Conference with 10 this season. Junior Blake Drake (3-0) picked up the win in his best start of the season, tossing 4.1 innings on the mound while allowing just four hits and one run while striking out three batters.
At the plate, Strausborger, Fieser and Ferrell all tallied a pair of hits, with Strausborger also totaling a pair of RBIs. Strausborger also stole three bases during the game, pushing his season total to 37.
The Sycamores return to the field on Friday, when they travel to Charleston, Ill., for a non-conference matchup with the Eastern Illinois Panthers. The Sycamores will stay in Charleston on Saturday as well, when they will face the Cougars again. Both games can be heard live online at GoSycamores.com.
Postgame Comments from head coach Rick Heller:
Postgame comments from junior Blake Drake: