WEST LAFAYETTE —
Indiana State’s baseball team broke its four-game losing streak in the most dramatic manner possible.
Sophomore Landon Curry and junior Cody Zimmerman each drove in a run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning as the ISU won a 4-3 victory on the road over Purdue at Alexander Field.
Indiana State (12-11) took the early lead on Wednesday, scoring a single run in the first inning. Curry led off the game by drawing a full-count walk, moving to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Zimmerman. Curry went to third on a groundout by senior Robby Ort and scored when Purdue’s Mike Gaglianese threw a wild pitch to the plate.
Purdue (10-16) answered back with two runs in the bottom of the second inning, recording three consecutive hits with one out to tie the game before taking the lead on a groundball to junior Tyler Wampler at short.
The Sycamores knotted the game at 2 in the top half of the third, once again using small ball in the inning. Wampler led off the frame by being hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Curry. Zimmerman grounded a pitch back to the pitcher on a hit-and-run to move Wampler to third with two outs. Ort picked up his fifth double of the season with two outs, lining a pitch just inside the bag at third base.
The Boilermakers went back in front in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a leadoff walk.
Redshirt sophomore Greg Kuhlman came back to record the next two outs in the inning, but Sean McHugh singled to center to put the home side in front, 3-2.
ISU had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning.
Junior Owen Conway and Wampler were on the corners with one out. Curry flied to center when he came up next, but the inning ended on a double play when Kyle Johnson delivered a strike to the plate to catch Conway attempting to score.
The Sycamores would not be denied in the ninth.
ISU rallied for the second consecutive game in the ninth inning, scoring two runs with two outs. Conway worked a one-out walk to start the rally, followed by a single to left by redshirt sophomore Jacob Hayes.
Redshirt freshman Jeff Zahn moved Conway to third, beating out a potential game-ending double play to put runners on the corners. Curry tied the game with a two-out single to left field, bringing up Zimmerman with runners on first and second. The transfer from San Mateo Community College drove a pitch through the left side of the infield as Zahn hustled home from second base to put ISU in front.
Junior Kurt Kudrecki (1-0) pitched around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth, earning his first win of the season. Kudrecki did not allow a hit in his two innings on the mound.
Conway reached base in all four of his trips to the plate on Wednesday, drawing three walks and singling to left in the fourth.
Dating back to ISU’s two runs in the ninth inning against Illinois-Chicago on March 27, 11 of ISU’s last 14 runs scored have come in the ninth inning. Indiana State scored seven runs in the ninth inning at Missouri State last Sunday, but lost in the 11th inning.
ISU and Purdue meet again in six days as the Boilermakers travel to Terre Haute next Tuesday.
ISU wraps up its seven-game road swing this weekend, hitting the road for the second consecutive weekend in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Sycamores head to Wichita State for a three-game set beginning on Friday.