ANTONIO, Texas - Senior Kyle Burnam sent the Indiana State
baseball team to their second straight win in the 2012 Irish Classic in San
Antonio, Texas, on Friday, driving in junior Robby Ort with a bases-loaded single
through the right side of a drawn-in infield in the ninth inning for a 4-3 ISU
victory over Houston Baptist.
Indiana State improves to 14-4 overall with their ninth straight victory while Houston Baptist falls to 4-13 on the season.
The Huskies scored in the first inning without the aid of a hit, as David Pfuntner drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch by sophomore Sean Manaea.
Houston Baptist took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, when a ground ball with two outs went off the glove of sophomore shortstop Tyler Wampler and into shallow left field, allowing HBU's Asai Adame to score from second base.
The Sycamores nearly scored their first run of the game in the third inning, when freshman Landon Curry, redshirt junior Koby Kraemer and Ort tallied three straight singles with two outs. Curry attempted to score on Ort's single to centerfield, but Adame blocked a sliding Curry off with his leg and recorded the out with a tag.
The Huskies looked to add more runs in the top of the sixth inning, but senior Brandon Dorsett came out of the ISU bullpen forced a groundout with two outs to get out of the bases loaded jam.
ISU scored one run in each of the final four innings against HBU, getting on the board in the sixth inning when senior Jon Hedges sent a two-out pitch through the middle of the infield to plate Kraemer from third.
Senior Ryan Walterhouse delivered the game-tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Walterhouse sent a 1-0 pitch shooting down the left field line at Nelson Wolff Stadium, hitting the foul pole that stands 310-feet away for his second home run of the season and tying the score at 2-2. In the eighth inning, Hedges and Burnam drew two-out walks before Walterhouse doubled down the left field line, brining pinch-runner Lucas Hileman home for a 3-2 ISU lead heading into the ninth.
Houston Baptist tied the game with a one-out single to center by Kolby Arnst, before ISU got out of the inning with a double play.
Curry started the ISU rally in the ninth, beating out an infield single towards short that was deflected by the right hand of HBU's Curtis Jones on the mound. After a sacrifice bunt by Kraemer and an intentional walk to Ort, junior Jeremy Lucas hit a line-drive single to left that loaded the bases with one out. Houston Baptist got one out when they cut down Curry at the plate on Hileman's fielder's choice, but Burnam was up to the task with two outs. Burnam laced a 1-0 pitch between first and second base, sending the Sycamores into the championship game of the Irish Classic on Sunday.
Curry and Lucas each tallied three hits on Friday, while Walterhouse went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a solo home run. Burnam tallied two hits, including his game-winner in the ninth. Ort went 2-for-4, improving his MVC-leading batting average to .463 on the season.
Manaea tossed 5.2 innings on Friday, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Dorsett allowed one hit in 1.1 innings, redshirt junior Tyler Fehringer pitched a perfect eighth inning and junior Devin Moore (1-2) earned the victory in relief.
Indiana State's next two games in the 2012 Irish Classic will come against tournament-host Notre Dame. ISU and UND will play at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, before facing off with the Fighting Irish in the championship game of the tournament on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. (ET). Notre Dame also moved to 2-0 in the tournament on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Kansas.