NORMAL, Ill. – Senior Devin Moore tossed his first complete game of the season and the Indiana State baseball team pitched their first shutout in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament since 2003 as the Sycamores moved into the semifinals behind a 5-0 shutout of Southern Illinois on Wednesday evening at Duffy Bass Field.
Indiana State (26-23) secured their fifth consecutive winning season on the diamond with the victory, winning for the eighth time in their last nine games overall. The Sycamores are 2-0 in the league tournament for the first time since 2001, a season that Indiana State advanced to the championship game before falling to Rick Heller’s Northern Iowa Panthers in Wichita, Kan.
The Sycamores advance to the third game on the schedule for Thursday, as Indiana State will play the winner of an elimination game between No. 2 Wichita State (35-26) and No. 7 Southern Illinois (25-32) that will be played at 10:00 a.m. (ET). Thursday’s game for ISU is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. (ET) first pitch.
Indiana State’s defense got moving quickly on Wednesday as the Sycamores turned a double play to end the first inning and to erase a leadoff single in the second inning. ISU took the lead in the third inning, as sophomore Landon Curry reached second base when his two-out single to left was also misplayed by the SIU leftfielder. Redshirt sophomore Derek Hannahs put the Sycamores in front with a two-out RBI as his ground ball slipped through the left side of the infield.
As Moore continued to pitch well on the mound, Indiana State tacked on runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Redshirt sophomore Jacob Hayes and junior Tyler Wampler each picked up two-out RBIs in the fourth inning before senior Casey McCurdy and Curry drove in runs in the sixth.
Moore needed 101 pitches in his seven-hit shutout, ISU’s first complete game shutout since Dakota Bacus blanked the Evansville Purple Aces on March 23, 2012. The senior from Springfield, Ill., added six strikeouts without walking a batter. Moore threw nine shutout innings against the Salukis during the regular season, taking a no decision in ISU’s 1-0 victory in 11 innings on March 23 in Terre Haute.
Hannahs (3-for-5) and Curry (2-for-4) each tallied multi-hit games on Wednesday. The three-hit game by Hannahs was the first for a Sycamore in the conference tournament since Jeremy Lucas went 3-for-4 against Wichita State in ISU’s 7-6 victory on May 26, 2011.
Indiana State will await the winner of the Shockers and Salukis on Thursday evening at 5:00 p.m. (ET). A victory for the Sycamores would send them to the championship game on Saturday while a loss would force an elimination game on Friday. Thursday’s game can be seen live on ESPN3.com, courtesy of the Missouri Valley Conference.