TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Indiana State baseball team won their first home series against the No. 30 Creighton Bluejays since the 2001 season on Saturday from Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium. The Sycamores held on for a 5-4 victory over the Bluejays as the game ended when CU’s baserunner was called for interference at second base.
The victory is Indiana State’s fourth consecutive on the season, improving the Sycamores to 16-13 overall and 6-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bluejays fall to 18-8 on the season, 5-3 within the league. Indiana State had lost five consecutive series in Terre Haute to Creighton, last taking three out of four games back in 2001.
Indiana State took a two-run lead in the fourth inning on the strength of three consecutive hits to begin the inning. Redshirt senior Koby Kraemer led with a double before coming around to score on a single into shallow left-center by senior Robby Ort. Redshirt sophomore Jacob Hayes followed with a single to right with Ort scoring on a groundout by senior Jordan Pearson two batters later.
The Sycamores put together a two-out rally in the sixth inning, taking a 4-0 lead on junior Tyler Wampler’s single over the second baseman’s head that plated Pearson and junior Mike Fitzgerald.
Momentum shifted into the Creighton dugout in the seventh inning as junior Sean Manaea walked the bases loaded while striking out two batters. With two outs, Brad McKewon singled to left to score one run before junior Owen Conway’s throw home was in time to get Brennan Murphy at the plate. Murphy and CU third base coach Spencer Allen called for an umpire’s meeting and Kraemer was called for obstruction that allowed Murphy’s run to count.
Indiana State answered back with a single run in the bottom of the inning as Kraemer scored on Hayes’ groundout, but a solo home run off the bat of Mike Gerber in the eighth inning made the score 5-3 in favor of the Sycamores.
ISU took a two-run lead into the ninth, but CU loaded the bases with one out off junior Kurt Kudrecki. Reigning MVC Player of the Week Federico Castagnini made it a one-run game with a RBI-single to left as the bases remained loaded. Redshirt sophomore Greg Kuhlman entered the game from the bullpen against CU’s Jake Peter and on a 1-1 pitch induced a ground ball to Pearson at second base. Pearson flipped to Wampler covering at the bag and Castagnini was called for interference when sliding to break up the double play.
Kraemer led the way for the Sycamores with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, posting three doubles and two runs scored. Hayes also went 3-for-4 while Ort (2-for-4, RBI) and sophomore Landon Curry (2-for-5) each posted multi-hit games.
Manaea started the game for Indiana State, tossing 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts while allowing two runs on five hits. Manaea’s eight strikeouts on Saturday moved the ISU southpaw passed Mitch Stetter (254 – 2000-03) on ISU’s career strikeouts list, as the ISU junior now sits in fifth place with 260 for his career. Kuhlman earned his first save of the season on the game-ending double play.
Indiana State and Creighton wrap up their series at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. ISU junior Daniel Peterson (1-3, 4.81 ERA) will face CU freshman Austin Groth (2-0, 6.00 ERA) on the mound.