TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Junior Sean Manaea fanned a season-high 11 batters and the Indiana State baseball team rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, winning the game 5-4 over Alcorn State on a walkoff sacrifice fly by sophomore Landon Curry.
The victory snaps Indiana State’s four-game losing skid, improving the Sycamores to 19-22 overall. The Braves drop to 15-37 on the season.
Indiana State broke the scoreless game in the sixth inning, as senior Robby Ort plated junior Tyler Wampler on a two-out RBI single to center. Manaea retired the first 10 ASU hitters he faced with six strikeouts before ASU’s Cedric Walker broke up the no-hitter on a bunt down the third base line.
Alcorn State came back with two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings, taking advantage of three ISU errors over the pair of innings to plate their runs and take a 4-1 lead.
The Sycamores began their ninth-inning rally on a leadoff walk by redshirt senior Koby Kraemer and a single to right by redshirt sophomore Jacob Hayes before junior Mike Fitzgerald was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The Braves tallied one out on senior Casey McCurdy’s fielder’s choice to first base, as Kraemer was called out at home on a close play.
Indiana State scored two runs on redshirt sophomore Connor McClain’s single through the middle of the infield, plating Hayes and Fitzgerald. The rally continued on Wampler’s single to right, as McCurdy beat the throw home from right field to tie the game at 4-4. The Sycamores won the game when Curry came up next, as McClain crossed easily on Curry’s fly ball to centerfield.
The walkoff win is the second of the season for Indiana State, joining the 1-0 victory in 11 innings over Southern Illinois on March 23. ISU won that game over the Salukis on a wild pitch that scored Curry from third.
Manaea threw seven innings on Friday night, fanning a season-high 11 batters on an even 100 pitches. The Sycamore southpaw allowed just three hits and one walk, allowing two runs (one earned) in his time on the mound. Redshirt junior Tyler Browning, junior Kurt Kudrecki and junior Josh Dove (3-0) closed out the final two innings with Dove earning the victory in relief.
Manaea moved into third place in Indiana State history in career strikeouts, pushing his three-year strikeout total to 285. Casey Whitten (299 – 1991-93) and Mike Gardiner (296 – 1984-87) top the Indiana State record book in career strikeouts.
Wampler (2-for-2, RBI) and Ort (2-for-4, RBI) led the way at the plate while redshirt sophomore Derek Hannahs extended his hitting streak to 12 games on an infield single in the eighth inning.
Indiana State and Alcorn State continue their nonconference series at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The game can be seen live for free on GoSycamores.com through SycamoreVision.