HAUTE, Ind. - Sophomore Sean Manaea struck out a
career-high 12 batters on Saturday, leading the Indiana State baseball team to
7-3 victory over Illinois State on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Indiana State (22-6, 3-2 MVC) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as the Sycamores loaded the bases with one out before senior Jon Hedges drove in senior Kyle Burnam and junior Jeremy Lucas with a single to center.
Manaea settled in with the two-run lead, allowing just two baserunners over innings two through six. The sophomore southpaw retired 11 straight Illinois State batters from innings three through six, striking out at least batter each inning.
ISU made it 3-0 in the fifth inning, as freshman Landon Curry led off the inning with a single to left before advancing to second when Ty Wiesemeyer bobbled the ball in the outfield. Curry went to third on a balk by Redbird starter Brad Sorkin and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lucas.
The Sycamores doubled their lead in the sixth, rallying with two outs to score three runs in the inning. Junior Casey McCurdy started the rally with a single to center, before junior Koby Kraemer brought him home with a double deep into the right-center field gap. After sophomore Tyler Wampler and Curry were both hit by pitches, Burnam dropped a single to shallow left field to bring home Kraemer and Wampler and push ISU's lead to 6-0.
Junior Robby Ort added Indiana State's final run of the game in the seventh, pulling the first pitch of his at-bat against Sorkin down the rightfield line for his fourth home run of the season.
Illinois State (17-7, 1-1 MVC) spoiled the potential shutout for the Sycamores in the ninth, as Mike Hollenbeck hit a three-run home run to right field with two down in the inning.
Manaea (3-1) pitched into the ninth, striking out a career-high 12 batters in 8.1 innings while allowing just three hits. Senior Reggie Hochstedler closed out the game for the ISU bullpen.
Eight batters tallied hits for the Sycamores on Saturday, with Burnam and Ort each picking up two. Burnam and Hedges drove in two runs apiece.
Indiana State and Illinois State will play the rubber match of the series at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Sycamores will send junior righthander Ryan Torgerson (4-0, 1.96 ERA) to the mound against freshman southpaw Dylan Craig (4-0, 4.76 ERA) for the Redbirds.