News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

March 7, 2014

ISU baseball looking to carry success home

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.

So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.

Junior college transfer David Stagg is 3-0 with a 1.71 earned-run average and Brad Lombard is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Senior Kurt Kudrecki is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

Stagg, a left-hander with 25 strikeouts in 21 innings in his three starts, will start today. Kudrecki was slated to start Friday, but coach Mitch Hannahs pushed him back to Monday and kept the other two starters on the same schedule.

Offensively, the Sycamores have a batting average of .293 and have five home runs already. Terre Haute South graduate Jacob Hayes leads the way with two home runs and four doubles for a slugging percentage of .568 to go with his .385 on-base percentage.

Cody Zimmerman is hitting .381 with a home run and seven RBI, and shortstop Tyler Wampler is off to a strong start with a .343 average. Despite playing in just four games, former Terre Haute North standout Michael Eberle leads the Sycamores with nine RBI after delivering a grand slam.

In other words, the Sycamores are getting strong play from many guys so far.

“That’s been the most pleasant surprise. We’ve gotten contributions from all over our roster. And we’ve needed those contributions,” Hannahs said. “It was guys stepping in and getting game-winning hits, it was guys coming out of the bullpen and stopping big rallies in extra innings. I hope that’s something we can continue to build upon.”

Hannahs is optimistic about ISU’s ability to continue to succeed.

“We have a very competitive group, and they’re fun to watch. I know I enjoy watching them play. The folks that come out to the park will enjoy watching them play. They battle their tails off for nine innings, and it’s been fun to coach these guys to this point,” Hannahs said.

Bob Warn Field was still pretty soggy Friday afternoon with the snow still thawing.

“Our grounds guys and Dennis Dark and our adminstration have done a great job the last few days making the field somewhat playable. The tough thing is the outfield thawing and not knowing how it’s going to react with the warmer temperatures,” Hannahs said.

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Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza 55 on the stop: Indiana State's Connor Underwood tackles North Dakota State's Sam Ojuri during the Sycamores' loss to the Bison on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

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Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterOuch: Defending Men's City Chamion Tom Jones reacts to a missed putt on the 6th hole at Rea Park Saturday morning. Jones is seeking his 9th Men's title.

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

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It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

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