Offense was the theme of the early innings, but a solid pitching performance helped Indiana State knock off a red-hot IU squad that had won 10 of its last 11 games.
Led by starting pitcher Ryan Keaffaber, the Syacamore pitching staff was nearly unhittable in the 7-3 victory, holding Indiana to just three runs on six hits. Keaffaber, the Sycamores’ ace, pitched four solid innings and his work was continued by a committee of relievers who kept the Hoosiers in check for the remaining five innings.
Unlike the visitors from Terre Haute, IU’s pitchers were unable to get comfortable and starter Andrew Saalfrank was able to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, but was replaced by Cameron Beachamp in the second. Beachamp conceded four runs in the Bottom of the 2nd, and was pulled in favor of Luke Stephenson after only recording two outs. By that time, the score was 5-1 and that was all the run support ISU needed as the Indiana bats were kept cold throughout the game.
The lone spark offensively for IU came in the first inning, when Craig Dedelow cranked a solo homer to right with two outs. Any good signs coming from the homer were soon put to rest, as the Hoosiers were unable to manufacture any runs in the following innings. The ISU pitchers were in a real groove, and held the Indiana to just a couple scattered hit for the rest of the game.
Craig Dedelow was the player of the game for Indiana not only for his offensive contributed, but also his good play in left field. In the Top of the 3rd, ISU designated hitter CJ Huntley roped a line drive down the left field line, but Dedelow chased the ball down and fired a strike to second to retire the runner. This, along with the clean 4-6-3 double play in the Top of the 8th, were the plays of the game for Indiana.
The Hoosiers looked like they had a chance at a late rally in the Bottom of the 8th, when Ryan Fineman singled up the middle and Alex Krupa found the gap in left center for a double. This gave the Hoosiers their best scoring opportunity of the day, with runners at second and third with two outs. However, their chance at a rally was snuffed out as Austin Cangelosi struck out swinging to end the inning.
Indiana’s offense finally was able to create some runs in the Bottom of the 9th, and they were able to close the gap to four on Luke Miller’s two-run home run. Craig Dedelow put together an excellent at bat where he worked the count from 0-2 back to full, then drew a leadoff walk. Miller followed up and drove a 1-0 pitch deep to left field, and the Hoosiers crossed the plate for the first time since the first inning. The offense was short-lived, and the next three Hoosier batters were sent down on strikes to close out the victory for the Sycamores.
Indiana will look for better performances from their hitters and pitching staff as they get set for their three-game home series with Nebraska this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Hoosiers fall to 14-9-1, while Indiana State improves to 12-9.