AUBURN, Ala. —
The Indiana State baseball team used a two-out two-run single by junior Owen Conway and 10 strikeouts from junior Sean Manaea on Friday, edging the College of Charleston Cougars by a 3-1 score on the campus of Auburn University.
Senior Casey McCurdy tallied ISU’s first hit of the game in the third inning, singling through the right side of the infield to get the frame going. After a sacrifice bunt by redshirt freshman Jeff Zahn, sophomore Landon Curry dropped a two-out single into the left-center-field gap to plate McCurdy from second and put the Sycamores in front 1-0.
Manaea kept Charleston (3-2) offense at bay in his six innings on the mound, totaling 10 strikeouts on 97 pitches. Friday’s game marks the third time in his career that the junior southpaw has hit double figures, behind a career-high of 12 strikeouts last season against Illinois State.
College of Charleston rallied to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning, as Gunner Heidt began the frame with a hot-shot double past redshirt senior Koby Kraemer at third base. Two batters later, Brandon Murray brought Heidt home with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Redshirt sophomore Jacob Hayes led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk before the Sycamores took advantage of a key Charleston miscue in the outfield. Senior Robby Ort hit a flyball to left-center that Murray settled under but had bounce off the heel of his glove to allow Hayes to reach second, putting two runners on with no outs. Junior Mike Fitzgerald moved Hayes and Ort into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Kraemer was caught looking for the second out in the inning. Conway battled back from two quick strikes, dropping a single into shallow center to plate both runners and put the Sycamores up 3-1.
Junior Josh Dove earned his first save at Indiana State in the ninth, getting assistance from senior Jordan Pearson, who gloved a line drive behind second base with one out. Junior Josh Negele (1-0) earned the win in relief, getting the final two outs in the eighth.
McCurdy led the way with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate, while Conway and Curry drove in ISU’s runs.
ISU (3-2) returns to action today in Auburn, facing Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m. The game can be heard live online through GoSycamores.com.
• Stone homers as Sycamores split — At Southaven, Miss., Indiana State split games in the opening day of the Blues City Classic, beating Wright State 3-1 before falling to Memphis 2-1.
In the first game, junior Morgan Allee led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt by junior Shelby Wilson to give ISU an early lead, one they would not give up.
The Sycamores added two more runs to their lead in the bottom of the third when freshman Alexa Cavin was hit by a pitch and stole second and advanced to third on Wilson’s single before scoring on a Wright State fielding error.
Wright State got on the board in the sixth but could get no closer.
Wilson finished the game 1-2 at the plate with a with an RBI and run scored while sophomore Megan Bunting recorded the teams only other hit in the contest. Sophomore Ashli Scott pitched seven complete innings allowing just four hits, just two walks and one earned run while striking out five.
In Game 2, sophomore Megan Stone hit her third home run of the season and sophomore pitcher Stephanie Fougerousse pitched 5 1/3 hitless innings, but the Sycamores fell to Memphis.
Allee led off the contest with a double for the Sycamores before a strong pitching performance by both teams took over the game.
In the top of the fourth, Stone connected on a line-shot over the fence in right center field to put the Sycamores on the board 1-0.
Memphis threatened in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases of a pair of Sycamore errors, but Fougerousse pitched out of the jam to allow the Sycamores to keep a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers would not go away, however, and with one out in the bottom of the sixth, recorded their first hit of the game followed by a single to put runners at first and third. A walk then loaded the bases for the Tigers before two decisive runs crossed the plate on walks.
Indiana State (7-5) will wrap up Blues City Classic play today when it faces UMKC and Nicholls State at noon and 2 p.m. respectively.
• ISU men favored — Indiana State will cap its indoor season this weekend in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference indoor championships. Competition will be take place today and Sunday in the UNI Dome on the University of Northern Iowa campus at Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The Indiana State men’s team is the pre-championship favorite to win its second title in three years, while the Sycamore women were picked to finish second, which would be their highest finish in many years.
1. Indiana State (5) 35
2. Wichita State (1) 30
3. Southern Illinois 24
4. Northern Iowa 18
5. Drake 11
6. Illinois State 8
1. Wichita State 60
2. Indiana State 58
3. Illinois State 43
4. Southern Illinois (1) 39
5. Missouri State 38
6. Northern Iowa 22
7. Drake 18
8. Bradley 10
• Clauson wins — At Ocala, Fla., Bryan Clauson won the feature in the first of three days of U.S. Auto Club sprint-car racing Thursday at Bubba Raceway Park.
Clauson led three laps, including the last two, to outdo Dave Darland in the 30-lap main. Darland finished second and Brady Bacon was third.
Sullivan County native Chase Stockon had a good day. He was fast qualifier, took seventh in the feature and was second in the semi.
Racing continued Friday at the track and concludes today.
Fast qualifier — Chase Stockon.
Heat winners — Nick Drake, Brady Short, Jac Haudenschild, Shane Cottle, Chris Windom (semi).
Feature — Bryan Clauson, Dave Darland, Brady Bacon, Hunter Schuerenberg, Robert Ballou, Kevin Thomas, Stockon, Windom, Scotty Weir, Haudenschild, Tracy Hines, Short, Tyler Courtney, C.J. Leary, Mark Smith.