TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Senior Robby Ort tagged a two-run triple into the gap in right-center field in the bottom of the seventh inning and junior Kurt Kudrecki pitched two strong innings out of the Indiana State bullpen sending the Sycamores to their fourth straight win on the season following a 4-3 victory over the visiting Ball State Cardinals.
Indiana State evened their record at 22-22 on the season while Ball State dropped to 26-22. The Sycamores are 21-3 all-time against the Cardinals when playing in Terre Haute, earning their 11th straight home win over Ball State – a streak that dates back to the 1991 season.
The Sycamores scored first for the sixth consecutive game, plating one run in the bottom of the first inning. Redshirt sophomore Derek Hannahs extended his team-leading hitting streak to 15 games with a one-out single before Ort followed with a hit-and-run single to right that sent Hannahs to third. Junior Mike Fitzgerald hit a sacrifice fly to right when he came up next to give Indiana State a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals answered with two runs in the top of the second inning, as Cody Campbell (single) and Billy Wellman (double) led off the frame with hits before Blake Bemmer tied the game on a groundout and Dominick Catanzarite gave Ball State the lead on a single to left.
Indiana State took advantage of a BSU throwing error in the fifth inning, scoring an unearned run when Hannahs hit a sacrifice fly to right that plated junior Tyler Wampler. Ball State regained the lead in the top of the seventh inning without the benefit of a hit as Kevin Schlotter reached on a one-out walk before pinch-runner Jarrett James stole second base, reached third and scored on a pair of wild pitches.
The Sycamores rallied in the bottom half of the seventh inning as Wampler began the rally with a leadoff double to left-center. Hannahs put runners on the corner with one out following a single to right, bringing Ort to the plate. Ball State made a pitching change for left-hander Kyle Raleigh, but Ort pulled a 2-2 pitch into the gap in right-center for a go-ahead two-run triple. Ort is tied with Creighton’s Mike Gerber for the Missouri Valley Conference lead with six triples this season.
Junior Kurt Kudrecki closed out the game for the Sycamores, entering the game with two runners on base and no outs in the top of the eighth. Kudrecki forced a double play and a flyout to end the Ball State rally in the eighth before striking out the side in the ninth for his third save of the season. Redshirt senior Tyler Fehringer (2-2) earned the victory in relief, allowing one run with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings on the mound.
Ort (2-for-4) and Hannahs (2-for-3) each tallied multi-hit games with Ort driving in two runs on his go-ahead triple. Wampler and Hannahs both scored twice.
Indiana State closes out the regular season this weekend against Bradley, a series that runs from Thursday through Sunday. First pitch on Thursday and Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. with Saturday’s game beginning at 1:00 p.m.