Springfield, Mo. —
Indiana State’s baseball team erupted for seven runs in the top half of the ninth inning to take a 7-4 lead Sunday afternoon.
That was the good news for ISU fans.
The bad news was the Sycamores could not hold that lead as host Missouri State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning and completed the series sweep in the bottom of the 11th for an 8-7 Missouri Valley Conference victory.
This resulted in the Sycamores’ fourth consecutive loss after they built a five-game winning streak.
Cody Zimmerman tallied Indiana State’s first extra-base hit of the weekend, sending an RBI double into the gap in right-center field to plate Landon Curry from first base to start the ISU rally in the ninth. After a single by Robby Ort put runners on the corners, Koby Kraemer doubled to deep center to bring home the second run.
After Jacob Hayes was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Owen Conway tied the score with a single down the left-field line to plate Ort and Kraemer. Mike Fitzgerald provided the go-ahead hit, sending a three-run homer down the left-field line that landed just above the 315-foot marking near the foul pole.
MSU rallied in the ninth, however, as Conor Smith and Keenen Maddox hit back-to-back doubles off junior pitcher Josh Dove following a lead off walk to cut the ISU lead to 7-6. Tyler Browning entered the game for ISU and struck out a batter before Joey Hawkins singled to right to put runners on the corners. The host team tied the game when Browning was called for a balk. Conway helped send the contest into extra innings with a great throw from left — combined with a nice block of the plate by catcher Fitzgerald — that nailed Hawkins for the third out.
The Bears completed the weekend sweep in the bottom of the 11th as Travis McComack doubled to deep right-center to plate Hawkins from second.
Daniel Peterson started on the mound for Indiana State, allowing two run on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings with a season-high nine strikeouts. Reliever A.J. McElderry took the loss in the 11th.
ISU (11-11 overall, 3-3 MVC) will be travel to West Lafayette on Wednesday for an in-state matchup with Purdue. Missouri State improved to 18-6 and 3-0 respectively.