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Shoemaker’s Homer In The Seventh Gives ISU 11-0 Win Over Oakland City
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Courtesy: Tony Campbell/ISU Photographic Services
Joe Rodriguez picked up a 11-0 shut out on...

EVANSVILLE, Ind. Indiana State kept its winning streak going on Sunday, as a three-run home run off the bat of Brady Shoemaker enforced the mercy rule in a seven inning 11-0 win for the Sycamores (27-13) over Oakland City (10-22) at USI Field in Evansville.  With the win, ISU improved its winning streak to seven games and improve to 7-0 against teams from the Hoosier State in 2009.


ISU starter Joe Rodriguez (5-1) picked up his first career shutout at ISU, after allowing just four hits in the run-shortened seven-inning contest.  Rodriguez struck out two and walked one to secure ISU’s first complete game shut out of the season.  OCU starter Trent Creek (1-6) suffered the loss, after giving up three runs on nine hits in five innings on the mound.


The Sycamores took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a leadoff solo home run off the bat of Ryan Strausborger, his fourth homer of the season.  ISU later tacked on two runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead, courtesy of RBI singles by Tyler Graham and Joe Meggs.


The lead stayed at 3-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Sycamores exploded for five runs to take an 8-0 lead.  Strausborger walked to lead off the inning and Kyle Burnam followed with a bunt single to give the Sycamores a couple of base runners.  Shoemaker then doubled down the left field line to pick up two RBI and extend the lead to 5-0 at the time.  Nick Ciolli then singled through the right side as Shoemaker advanced to third to keep the onslaught going. Luke Fieser was up next drove in Shoemaker with a sacrifice fly to right field to make the score 6-0.


Now, with one out in the inning, Graham reached on a bunt single, which allowed Ciolli to advance to second base.  The Sycamores then forced the issue with a well-executed double steal and on the play, Ciolli was able to score and Graham advance to third after a throwing error by OCU catcher John Feltner.  Meggs kept the inning going by getting hit by a pitch ahead of Pascual Del Real, who drove in Graham with a sacrifice fly to right field for the fifth and final run of the frame.


With the 10 runs after seven innings mercy rule in effect, the Sycamores closed out the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.  With one out in the inning, Strausborger singled to right field and Burnam reached on a fielder's choice as Strausborger advanced to third on a throwing error by OCU second baseman Juan Calderon.  That brought up Shoemaker, who launched a 1-2 pitch into the wind in left field and ended the game with a three-run home run to bring the score to 11-0.  The home run was Shoemaker’s team-leading 10th of the season, setting a new season career high for the senior slugger, and was also his fourth home run in four consecutive games for the Sycamores.


Shoemaker finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs scored and five RBI to pace the ISU offense, while Ciolli finished 4-for-4 with two runs scored to wrap up his solid week.  In addition, Graham finished the game 3-for-3 with a run scored and RBI, Strausborger chipped in two hits and scored three runs and Fieser extended his hitting streak to 15 games.


Indiana State returns to action on Wednesday, when it welcomes the Illinois Fighting Illini to Sycamore Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.



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