Seventh Inning Sycamore Comeback Defeats Redbirds 5-4
March 31, 2006
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A three-run seventh inning comeback propelled the Indiana State Sycamores to a 5-4 victory over the Illinois State Redbirds on Friday at Sycamore Field. Three Indiana State (11-10, 2-2 MVC) pitchers allowed the Illinois State (7-15, 2-2 MVC) lineup just two hits and did not give up a run after the third inning to earn the series-opening win.
Kitt Kopach (1-4) suffered the loss for the Redbirds in six innings of work and giving up five runs, only three of which were earned. Indiana State starter Ryan Tatusko (3-2) earned the win in seven innings of work and surrendered just one hit while giving up four runs, three of which were earned. Brian Omogrosso came on to save his fourth game of the season for the Sycamores to secure the victory.
The Sycamores scored the first run of the night in the bottom of the second inning to take the early lead. A two-out single by Cory Kral kept Indiana State alive in the inning and he later scored from first base when Illinois State third baseman Mike Stalowy overthrew Kyle O'Brien at first base after a ground ball by Kyle Kolb, making the score 1-0.
Illinois State would answer back in the top of the third inning with four runs on just one hit and one error. With the bases loaded and one out, Kyle O'Brien chopped a grounder to first base allowing Kris Jenkins to score from third, tying the game at 1-1. Jesse Griswold followed and laced a single past the pitcher, scoring Chris Frank and Ryan Anetsberger from third and second base respectively to extend the Redbird lead to 3-1. The `Birds would add their fourth run when Griswold scored from second base after Kevin Dubler reached on an error to push the score to 4-1.
An unearned run in the fourth inning by the Sycamores cut into the Redbirds' lead at 4-2. A one-out single by Nevin Ashley gave the Sycamores a runner and Ashley eventually moved to third after Kyle O'Brien could not handle a pickoff attempt from Kopach. Marcus Artner's ground out to Anetsberger at shortstop then brought in Ashley to cut the lead to two after six innings.
The Indiana State rally continued in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Sycamores scored three runs on three hits to re-take the lead at 5-4. Illinois State had a chance to score in the top of the ninth inning with runners on first and second with no outs, but Griswold was caught stealing and Omogrosso shut the door to give the Sycamores a 5-4 win.
Griswold had the only two hits of the evening for the Redbirds, including the two-run single in the third inning. Tim Brewer, Ashley and Kral all chipped in two hits for the Sycamores, with Kral also scoring two runs to fuel the Indiana State comeback.
The Redbirds return to action Saturday at 1 p.m. EST at Sycamore Field for second game of the three-game weekend series with the Sycamores. Freshman Ian Berger (2-3) will take the mound for the Redbirds and will look to tie up the series 1-1.