- The Indiana State baseball team won the series opener with the Creighton Bluejays
in Omaha, Neb., on Friday night, scoring five unanswered runs to earn a 6-3
victory at TD Ameritrade Park.
The game did not start well for ISU (25-6, 5-2 MVC) as Creighton (13-14, 1-6 MVC) hit Sycamore starting pitcher Dakota Bacus hard in the first inning. The Bluejays' first six batters tallied four hits and a sacrifice fly, scoring two runs in the inning. It could have been much worse for ISU, however, as CU ran into a pair of outs on the bases in the first inning to slow their early charge.
Indiana State got on the board in the third inning, as senior Ryan Walterhouse led off the frame by being hit by a pitch before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. Freshman Landon Curry drove Walterhouse home with two outs, dropping a single into the left-center field gap. Creighton responded in kind in the bottom half of the frame, taking advantage of an ISU error to regain a two-run lead at 3-1 Bluejays.
ISU's charge began in the fourth inning, as the Sycamores scored three runs to take a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish. Senior Lucas Hileman was hit by a pitch before Walterhouse drew a walk to put two runners on with one down in the inning, bringing redshirt junior Koby Kraemer to the plate. Kraemer slammed a 2-1 pitch just inside the third base bag, scoring both Hileman and Walterhouse on a double that went into the left field corner and moving to third on the throw to the plate. Three pitches later, Kraemer came home to give ISU the lead when sophomore Tyler Wampler executed a squeeze bunt back to the pitcher.
The Sycamores added insurance runs in both the seventh and eighth innings, getting a two-out RBI double by senior Jon Hedges in the seventh before fellow senior Kyle Burnam dropped down ISU's second squeeze bunt of the game to score Kraemer in the eighth.
Bacus (5-2) settled down after the first three innings where Creighton scored three runs on six hits, allowing just two baserunners from that point on as he pitched until the eighth inning. When Bacus was lifted from the game after the eighth inning, he had set down 11 straight Bluejay batters. For the game, the junior hurler struck out seven batters while scattering seven hits and allowing three runs (two earned) on 121 pitches.
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Browning walked two of the first three batters he faced in the ninth, before senior Chris Machado earned his second save of the season as Jake Peter lined into a game-ending double play to Kraemer at second base.
Hedges led ISU with three hits, his second straight game with three knocks in a game. Kraemer tallied a pair of doubles, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
CU's Ty Blach (3-3) took the loss, as ISU scored five runs off the southpaw in 6.2 innings of work.
Indiana State and Creighton play game two of their series at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. ISU will send sophomore left-hander Sean Manaea (3-1, 3.94 ERA) against CU's senior righty Erik Mattingly (0-1, 2.20 ERA).