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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Indiana State Baseball Sweeps Southern Illinois On MVC Opening Weekend
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Indiana State baseball team completed a weekend sweep of the Southern Illinois Salukis, winning a pair of Missouri Valley Conference games on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Indiana State improved to 11-7 on the season and 3-0 in the MVC following the doubleheader, winning 1-0 in 11 innings in game one before rallying late for an 8-4 victory in game two. The wins push ISU’s winning streak to five games in a row and six of their last seven overall. SIU (9-14, 0-3 MVC) exits the weekend on seven-game losing streak.

Indiana State’s Devin Moore and Southern Illinois’ Cody Forsythe dominated on the mound in game one, as both starting pitchers put together great outings on the mound. Moore pitched the first nine innings of game one, shutting out the Salukis on 95 pitches while striking out three batters and allowing just two hits. Forsythe tossed eight shutout innings in response, limiting ISU to a pair of hits from junior Owen Conway while striking out seven Sycamores.

Sophomore Landon Curry led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a single into shallow left-center before stealing second. Indiana State loaded the bases in the inning as senior Robby Ort drew an intentional walk before junior Mike Fitzgerald was hit by a pitch. Curry would score with junior Cody Zimmerman at the plate, as a breaking ball from SIU’s Aaron Snyder got under the glove of catcher Matt Jones to allow the game’s only run.

Indiana State and Southern Illinois combined for just seven hits in game one, including a 2-for-3 effort by Conway. Junior Josh Dove (2-0) earned the victory in relief after pitching a scoreless 10th and 11th innings.

In game two, Indiana State took an early 1-0 lead, coming on junior Michael Eberle’s first hit as a Sycamore. Eberle doubled down the left field line with two outs, scoring redshirt senior Koby Kraemer from second base.

Southern Illinois took their first lead of the series in the fifth, plating four runs in the frame. Jones tied the game with a single to center, before Ryan Casillas sent a three-run home run over the left field wall for a 4-1 SIU lead.

The Sycamores cut the lead to two runs with a single tally in the sixth, coming on a sacrifice fly to right by Kraemer.

Redshirt sophomore Greg Kuhlman relieved ISU starter Daniel Peterson in the fifth inning and kept ISU within striking distance, tossing 3.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts.

Indiana State rallied for six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, taking advantage of a key SIU error in the inning. Curry (walk), Zimmerman (walk) and Ort (single) loaded the bases with one out before Kraemer drew a bases loaded walk to close ISU within one run, at 4-3. Conway came up next and grounded a slow roller to shortstop that SIU’s Ryan Rosthenhausler bobbled and threw wide of second base, allowing Zimmerman and Ort to score. Indiana State added another run on a bases loaded walk drawn by Fitzgerald before McCurdy dropped a two-run double just inside the left field line, sending the Sycamores to an 8-4 victory.

Kuhlman (1-0) earned the victory on the mound, reliving Peterson who allowed nine hits in 4.2 innings with three strikeouts.

Junior Tyler Wampler went 2-for-3 in game two, while Kraemer and McCurdy each drove in two runs.

Indiana State has now swept Southern Illinois in back-to-back seasons, as the Sycamores took three from the Salukis in Carbondale on May 11-13 last season. ISU’s six-game winning streak over SIU is their longest since winning 11 in a row over the Salukis from 1991-1993.

The Sycamores close out their five-game homestand on Wednesday, hosting Illinois (Chicago) at 3:00 p.m. Indiana State hits the road in MVC play over the next two weekend, traveling to Missouri State (March 29-31) and Wichita State (April 5-7).

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