TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State held off a ninth inning rally by Dallas Baptist to post a 6-5 victory in the opening game of their Missouri Valley Conference series Friday night on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium. It was Indiana State’s third straight win over Dallas Baptist and their fifth straight win at home this season.
The Sycamores (28-12, 8-5 MVC) and Dallas Baptist (27-14, 6-4) will meet again at 2 p.m. (ET) Saturday and play the third game of the series at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
“It was a good win,” Mitch Hannahs, Indiana State baseball coach, said. “Now we will have to lace up and go back at it tomorrow.”
David Stagg had another good pitching performance as he improved to 6-3 on the season as he allowed two runs on five hits while striking out 10 and walking three. It was the second time this season that Stagg had 10 or more strikeouts in a game as he recorded 11 strikeouts at Belmont on Feb. 22. Nick Kolarick took over with one out in the eighth but was relieved in the ninth by Ryan Keaffaber who picked up his league leading ninth save of the season.
Indiana State took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Landon Curry led off the game with a single up the middle and went to second when Cody Zimmerman was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season. Both advanced a base when Jacob Hayes grounded out to the pitcher. After Mike Fitzgerald struck out, Brian Romero stepped to the plate and belted the first pitch he saw over the right center field fence for his first career home run.
The Sycamores were able to build their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning as Connor McClain led off with a triple to right center field. The Sycamore left fielder scored as Derek Hannahs recorded his team leading 28th RBI of the season when he grounded out to short.
That lead grew to 6-0 in the fifth as Indiana State pushed over two more on two hits. Mike Fitzgerald reached by being hit by a pitch for the 10th time this season and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Patriots first baseman as Romero reached on a fielder’s choice. Tyler Wampler also reached on a fielder’s choice that got Romero at second. Jeff Zahn and Connor McClain hit back to back singles to score Fitzgerald and Wampler.
Dallas Baptist came back with single runs in the seventh and eighth. The Patriots loaded the bases in the ninth and pushed three runs across but Keaffaber was able to close the door on Dallas Baptist with the tying run at third.
Indiana State scored six runs on 10 hits with McClain leading the way with a triple and a single. Landon Curry and Hunter Owen had two singles each, Brian Romero a home run, and Tyler Wampler, Jeff Zahn, and Derek Hannahs had a single each.