Brad Lombard pitched a complete game Saturday at Braun Field as Indiana State knotted up its first Missouri Valley Conference baseball series of the season by beating Evansville 4-1.
Lombard improved to 4-0 for the season, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out four in ISU’s first complete game since the 2013 MVC tournament, when Devin Moore beat Southern Illinois. The rubber game of the series is 2 p.m. today.
ISU got three quick unearned runs Saturday and never trailed. Jacob Hayes reached on a two-base error when his two-out fly ball was dropped, and Mike Fitzgerald followed with an RBI single. Back-to-back doubles by Brian Romero and Tyler Wampler made it 3-0.
Evansville threatened in the fourth when infield hits by both Jake Mahon and Kevin Kaczmarski and a walk to Boomer Synek loaded the bases with one out.
Lombard allowed a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Ramon, but retired 16 of the last 17 batters.
The Sycamores added their final run in the eighth when a single by Romero, a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases and Derek Hannahs hit a sacrifice fly.
Fitzgerald had three singles in five trips to the plate, while Romero and Wampler had a single and double each and Hayes and Jeff Zahn each had one hit.
The hard-luck losing pitcher for the Aces was North Central graduate Connor Strain, who fell to 0-2 for the season despite not giving up an earned run. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out three.
ISU is now 15-4 for the season, 1-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Evansville is 11-7 and 1-1.