Another weekend of conference play is in the books and Missouri State has pulled back into a tie atop the conference after a sweep of Bradley at home. They of course share the lead with Wichita State who were able to steal two from Evansville at the Eck. The Aces continue to be on the losing end of close games as their last four losses have each come by just one run. Illinois State pitchers were masterful in their series sweep against Indiana State, allowing just one earned run in twenty-four innings of work. Meanwhile, Creighton moved into third place in the standings thanks to a sweep of Southern Illinois in Omaha.
College Baseball Daily Players of the Week:
Creighton – RHP Tommy Strunc W(5-1); 8.0 IP, H, ER, 5 BB, 8 K
Illinois State – RHP Brad Sorkin, W(5-4); CG, 4H, BB, K
Wichita State Takes Two From Evansville
Evansville (15-25, 6-6) played another close, hard fought series this weekend, but ultimately dropped two of their three games on the road at Wichita State (23-18, 9-3). In game one, the Aces rallied from down 5-1, but came up just short as the Shockers were able to hold on 5-4. The Shockers took an early lead, scoring four runs in the bottom of the third capped off by a Micah Green two RBI single. Trailing 5-1, the Aces took advantage of several WSU miscues to put three runs on the board. This chased started Cale Elam (5-1) from the game, but closer Brandon Peterson was able to get out of the inning and pitch a scoreless ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season.
The Aces were able to tie up the series behind a solid outing from starter Kyle Lloyd (5-2). Lloyd went 8.1 innings scattering nine hits, three runs (one earned) and two walks while K-ing 8. Evansville took an early lead and never looked back, scoring four runs in the top of the first, led by catcher Chris Pearson’s two RBI double. Centerfielder Kevin Kacmarski paced UE with a 3-4 day.
The Shockers took a see-saw game three, and the series, with a 6-5 win Sunday. Evansville scored first, plating three in the third inning on homeruns from DH Kyle Pollock and Kaczmarski. After getting two back in the bottom of the fifth, the Shockers took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth. The Aces tied up the game at 5 in the eighth on a Jason Hockemeyer RBI single, but the Shocks took the lead right back when third baseman Tyler Baker led off the bottom of the inning with his fourth homerun of the year.
Evansville – RHP Kyle Lloyd W(5-2); 8.1 IP, 9 H, ER, 2 BB, 8 K
CF Kevin Kaczmarski 8-12, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB
Wichita State – 3B Tyler Baker 6-12, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R
Missouri State Sweeps Bradley
Missouri State (24-11, 9-3) regained the top spot in the Valley with a sweep over visiting Bradley (12-21, 1-10). Nick Petree (6-1) pitched the Bears passed the Braves in game one, allowing two runs over seven innings while striking out eleven. Freshman Spencer Johnson supplied all the offense that was needed with an RBI triple in the fifth inning.
In game two, freshman Jonathan Harris (8-0) continued his amazing wins streak to start his career. The frosh went seven innings allowing two unearned runs on two walks and just three hits. Leftfielder Keenen Maddox led the way with a four hit day. Sophomore Dylan Becker went three-for-three off the bench including a game-ending grand slam that run-ruled the Braves and finished the game at 12-2 in the eighth.
The Bears capped off the sweep with a 6-2 win Sunday. Freshman lefthander Andy Cheray (1-2) tossed 5.2 innings, allowing two runs while striking out six. Another freshman, Tate Matheny, led the way offensively with three hits.
Missouri State – RHP Nick Petree W(6-1); 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 11 K
1B/RF Dylan Becker 4-6, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R
Illinois State Sweeps Indiana State in Normal
After sweeping Creighton to keep the regular season championship hopes alive, the Indiana State Sycamores (17-17, 7-8) suffered a significant setback, this time being at the wrong end of the sweep–this one at Illinois State (22-16, 6-3). The Redbirds benefitted from some terrific pitching as Illinois State pitchers allowed just one earned run in the entire series. This was showcased in game one as the Redbirds faced All-American Sean Manaea for the Sycamores. Manaea (5-3) shut down the Redbirds until, for the second straight start, running into trouble in the sixth inning. Pitching with a 2-0 lead, Manaea surrendered four runs, the big blow coming on a three-run homer from Illinois State rightfielder Eric Aguilera. Redbird starter Chris Razo (4-0) went six innings allowing just two unearned runs while walking three and striking out seven. Sophomore Jeremy Rhoades picked up his fourth save by tossing three innings of scoreless relief.
In a 9-1 game two victory, redshirt sophomore Dan Savas (6-0) continued his unbeaten streak this season with an impressive performance allowing one run on six hits in eight innings while tallying six punch outs. Centerfielder Chad Hinshaw led the way for the Redbirds going 3-5 with a homerun and stolen base.
Senior Brad Sorkin continued the tremendous pitching for the Redbirds by tossing a complete game shut-out en route to a game three 2-0 victory. Sorkin (5-4) went the distance, scattering four hits with one walk and one strike out–tossing just 96 pitches. On the season, the Illinois State weekend starters have gone 15-4, posting a 2.39 ERA.
Indiana State – CF Landon Curry 6-13, 2 2B, RBI, R, SB
Illinois State – RHP Brad Sorkin, W(5-4); CG, 4H, BB, K
Creighton Sweeps Southern Illinois in Omaha
Creighton rebounded from last week’s sweep at the hands of Indiana State by taking all three from a struggling Southern Illinois at TD Ameritrade ballpark. Freshman Ace Tommy Strunc set the tone for Jays in game one of the series by taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning. Strunc (5-1) struck out the first five batters he faced, and seven of the first nine in the game. Strunc battled with some control issues in the later innings, walking five in the game, but ultimately getting out of trouble through the eighth inning. At 120+ pitches, Strunc surrendered a lead-off single to Saluki Reggie Trogio. Strunc was lifted for closer Jake Peter who summarily gave up a double and homerun to suddenly make the game a one-run game. However, Peter settled down and retired the next three in order to secure the 4-3 victory.
In game two, the Jays took an early and held on to it thanks to a solid pitching performance from senior Nick Musec. Musec (1-4) picked up his first win of the season after going 5.1 innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits, walking two and striking out five. Jays’ centerfielder Mike Gerber had a three hit day and three other Jays hitters had two-hit games.
The Jays picked up nine hits from their 1-4 hitters in Sunday’s 9-1 victory (which was aired on ESPN U). Second baseman Jake Peter knocked two triples and tallied three runs while three hitters had two RBI days for CU.
RHP Tommy Strunc W(5-1); 8.0 IP, H, ER, 5 BB, 8 K
3B Federico Castagnini, 6-11, 3 RBI, 3 R