- The Indiana State baseball team earned their 40th win of the
season on Sunday, pounding out 14 hits and 10 runs in completing a weekend
sweep of Southern Illinois with a 10-4 victory from Abe Martin Field.
Indiana State improves to 40-12 on the season, their first 40-win season since 1992 and 10th in program history. The Sycamores swept the Salukis for the first time since 1998 when ISU won two games in Terre Haute and two games in Carbondale. ISU last swept Southern Illinois in a three-game road series in Carbondale back in 1992. ISU also picked up their first MVC sweep since 2009 when the Sycamores took three games from Evansville in Terre Haute.
The Sycamores (13-5 MVC) also sit one and a half games ahead of the Missouri State Bears (36-17, 11-6 MVC) in the Missouri Valley Conference standings, as the Bears fell 1-0 on Sunday at home to the Evansville Purple Aces.
Southern Illinois (25-26, 9-12 MVC) took their first lead of the series with one run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Sycamores turned a triple play to get out of the inning and swing the momentum into their dugout. Jake Welch, Donny Duschinsky and Chris Serritella led off the inning with three straight singles to put SIU in front 1-0. The triple play came next and was started when Austin Montgomery grounded a ball to redshirt junior Koby Kraemer at third base. Kraemer flipped to junior Jordan Pearson at second before Pearson fired home to get a sliding Duschinsky at the plate. Junior Jeremy Lucas tossed the ball back to junior Ryan Torgerson on the mound before realizing that Montgomery had stopped running down the first base line, allowing Torgerson to complete the triple play. It is the second time this season that SIU has hit into a triple play.
Indiana State tied the game in the third inning, starting a string of four consecutive innings that the Sycamores put runs on the scoreboard. Pearson was hit by a pitch to the start the inning, the 96th HBP of the season for ISU, breaking their tie for the school record with the 2008 squad. Pearson scored with two outs in the inning when SIU starting pitcher Sam Coonrod was called for a balk.
The Sycamores took the lead in the fourth inning, getting a one-out triple by Kraemer and a sacrifice fly by Wampler to take a 3-1 lead. ISU tacked on their fourth run of the game in the fifth inning, when junior Rob Ort drove a sacrifice fly to left.
ISU broke the game open in the sixth inning, scoring five runs with two outs. Indiana State picked up seven hits in the inning, including six consecutive by Pearson, Curry, Burnam, Lucas, Ort and senior Jon Hedges. Pearson, Curry and Hedges all tallied RBI doubles in the inning as the Sycamores went up 9-1.
Torgerson settled down after allowing three straight hits to begin the game, allowing just five hits over the remainder of the game. The junior hurler threw his second complete game of the season, striking out a career-high eight batters to improve to 8-2 on the season.
Lucas led the team with three hits, while Ort drove in two runs. Eight of ISU's nine starters tallied hits on Sunday, with seven driving in at least one run. ISU's 14 hits as a team are their most in MVC play this season.
Indiana State plays their final nonconference game of the season on Tuesday, when the Sycamores travel to West Lafayette to face nationally-ranked Purdue. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. and can be heard live on GoSycamores.com. The game will not be carried on ESPN Radio 92.7 FM due to pre-existing agreements at the station.