WICHITA, Kan. – Junior Sean Manaea returned to the mound after missing his scheduled start on Friday with a hip injury, fanning nine Wichita State batters in six innings as the Indiana State baseball team held on for a 7-5 victory over Wichita State at Eck Stadium on Sunday.
The Sycamores improve to 13-13 on the season and 4-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference with the victory while the Shockers fall to 18-15 overall, 4-2 in league play.
Indiana State scored a season-high four runs in the first inning, their most in the opening inning of a game since also plating four runs in a 6-3 victory over Dallas Baptist on April 21, 2012. Junior Cody Zimmerman got things going with a one-out single on a line-drive to the second baseman. After a wild pitch advanced Zimmerman into scoring position, redshirt senior Koby Kraemer doubled down the right field line to put the Sycamores in front. Senior Robby Ort doubled ISU’s lead on a line drive single to right when he came up next. Junior Owen Conway followed with Indiana State’s fourth straight hit in the inning before ISU took advantage of a miscue in the field.
Wichita State made a key error to extend the inning as redshirt sophomore Jacob Hayes’ ground ball went through the leg of the first baseman to allow Ort to score from second. Two batters later, WSU starter A.J. Ladwig threw a wild pitch as Hayes scored from third, giving the Sycamores a four-run lead after their first inning at the plate.
After Manaea fanned WSU’s leadoff hitter Taylor Doggett, the game was delayed for an hour due to rain and lightning. When play resumed, the Shockers tagged back-to-back singles before Manaea retired the next two hitters.
Indiana State tacked on a single run in the third inning, coming on a two-out ground rule double into the gap in right-center by Hayes that plated Kraemer from third base. The Sycamores took advantage of a pair of WSU errors in the sixth inning to score two runs. Junior Tyler Wampler reached on an error with one out before senior Jordan Pearson lined a pitch to center on a hit-and-run play. The ball skimmed under the glove of Doggett in center field, however, allowing both Wampler and Pearson to circle the bases and put the Sycamores in front 7-0.
Wichita State made it interesting in the ninth, scoring five runs on five hits in the bottom of the ninth off the ISU bullpen. Junior Kurt Kudrecki earned his second save of the season, retiring three consecutive batters with the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
After being pushed back from Friday due to a strained muscle in his hip, Manaea (4-2) worked six shutout innings while striking out nine batters. The Indiana State southpaw retired 12 consecutive batters from the first through the fifth innings, scattering five hits on 92 pitches and 65 for strikes. Manaea’s six shutout innings drops his earned run average to 0.99 on the season, good for second in the MVC. Manaea also tossed a shutout on the road at Wichita State as a freshman, fanning nine batters over seven innings in a 6-0 ISU win on May 14, 2011.
Indiana State posted 10 hits on Sunday, their second consecutive game with double-digit hits. The last time that ISU posted at least 10 hits in back-to-back games was on April 21-22 last season against Dallas Baptist.
Indiana State returns to Terre Haute and Bob Warn Field for their next six games, beginning with a matchup with Purdue on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:00 p.m. This weekend, the Sycamores host the league-leading Creighton Bluejays (18-6, 5-1 MVC) in conference play.