Illinois State and Wichita State completed the three-game sweep, while Evansville secured the series win with a victory in Sunday's rubber game. The Purple Aces scored all seven runs in the sixth inning to beat visiting Indiana State, 7-3. The Redbirds and Shockers remain atop the league standings after series sweeps over Missouri State and Creighton, respectively.
In Sunday non-conference action, Bradley was swept in a doubleheader at SIU Edwardsville, while Southern Illinois fell in the final game of a weekend series at Middle Tennessee State.
EVANSVILLE 7, INDIANA STATE 3
UE (26-21, 7-8 MVC); INS (30-15, 9-8 MVC)
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Aces scored in just one inning Sunday afternoon at Braun Stadium, but a seven-run sixth gave them all they needed in a 7-3 Missouri Valley Conference win over Indiana State. Evansville won two of three over the Sycamores in the weekend series, giving UE its third conference series victory of 2010. The Aces are now 26-21 overall and 7-8 in the Valley. Indiana State is 30-15 and 9-8.
Down 3-0 going into the sixth, UE finally broke up the shutout of Indiana State starter Jason Van Skike with a one-out, solo home run to left field by Cody Fick. Nate Smith walked, Trentt Copeland singled, and after John Day moved up both runners with a groundout, Tom Heithoff delivered a two-out single that scored Smith and Copeland to tie the game 3-3. Shawn Kuester kept the inning going with a single, and Alex Acheson then belted the first offering from reliever J.T. Stenftenagel off the fence in left field for a two-run double to put the Aces up 5-3. Eric Stamets was hit by a pitch, and Greg Wallace then chopped a double over first base to bring in Acheson and make it a 6-3 game. It was the 66th RBI of the season by Wallace, one shy of the UE record. Fick walked to load the bases, and ISU's Brandon Dorsett then plunked Smith to bring in the seventh and final run of the inning.
The seven-run sixth inning was all Davisson needed to improve his record to 7-1, all in relief. Davisson came in for starter Josh Biggs in the fourth, and allowed just one run in three and one/third innings before Taylor came in to pitch scoreless ball in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Aces are back home Tuesday for a rare doubleheader, against Austin Peay, before going to Southern Illinois next weekend for their final road series of the regular season.
ILLINOIS STATE 7, MISSOURI STATE 1
ILS (24-18, 12-3 MVC); MSU (18-28, 4-11 MVC)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Evan Kohli hit a three-run home run and JD Learnard limited the Bears to a single run in seven innings as Illinois State swept away Missouri State, 7-1, at Hammons Stadium Sunday afternoon. It was the first road sweep of the Bears by an Illinois State team since 1992.
Kohli hit his second home run of the series in the second inning with two outs and two runners on while providing Illinois State (24-18, 12-3 MVC) all the offense it needed with one swing of the bat. Learnard scattered four Missouri State (18-28, 4-11 MVC) hits over the first seven innings and allowed just the second run in his last three starts on a sacrifice fly by Brett Marshall in the third. Illinois State scored six of its seven runs with two outs and received multiple hit efforts from Ty Wiesemeyer (3) and Kevin Tokarski (2).
Learnard induced 15 ground ball outs and pitched into the eighth inning for the second time this season, while also retiring the side in order in three different innings. The freshman from Fairmount, Ill., couldn’t keep Curt Courtwright from scoring after a leadoff single in the third, but worked around a triple by Courtwright in the fifth and a double by Keenan Maddox in the sixth to post scoreless frames.
Learnard started the eighth by getting Travis McComack to ground to short but he reached on an error and Missouri State batters Aaron Conway and Kevin Medrano followed with singles. With no outs, Illinois State reliever Ryan Copeland made his third relief appearance of the weekend and pitched the Redbirds out of the jam without allowing a run. Copeland finished the weekend with 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings of scoreless relief.
In addition to Kohli’s three-run blast in the second, Illinois State scored two in the fifth and added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Tokarski knocked two doubles in the game for 22 on the season and moved within one of Illinois State’s single season record (23) set by Kevin Dubler in 2008. Tokarski also scored three runs and stole a base. Wiesemeyer was 3-for-5 in the contest with two runs batted in.
Medrano was 0-for-3 before a bunt single off Learnard in the eighth extended his hitting streak to 28 games. Courtwright, a Lincoln, Ill., native, finished the game 2-for-3 and reached a third time on a walk. Conway was the only other Bear with multiple hits and finished the contest 2-for-4. Pat Doyle struck out eight but was tagged with the loss after giving up six runs in 6.2 innings.
Illinois State will play its final non-conference game when the Redbirds host Eastern Illinois for a 6 p.m. tilt at Duffy Bass Field Wednesday.
WICHITA STATE 8, CREIGHTON 7
WSU (32-17, 13-5 MVC); CU (22-20, 9-12 MVC)
OMAHA, Neb. - Wichita State scored three runs in the ninth to defeat Creighton 8-7 and sweep the three-game series.
Preston Springer went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two doubles, while Johnny Coy went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Travis Bennett went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Reliever Logan Hoch earned the win. He pitched 2.2 shutout innings and allowed just one hit with no walks and four strikeouts.
The Shockers jumped on the board in the second inning. Johnny Coy led off the inning with an infield single and scored on a double to left field from Travis Bennett. Bennett moved to third on a balk and scored on a triple from Bret Bascue. Erik Harbutz drove in Bascue with a double to left field and Will Baez's two-out single scored Harbutz to give WSU a 4-0 lead.
CU's Carson Vitale led off the second inning with a home run and the Jays added another run in the inning to cut the lead to 4-2.
WSU got one run back in the third. Preston Springer led off with a double to left-center, advanced to third on a groundout by Coy and scored on a groundout by Bennett to give WSU a 5-2 lead.
The Jays scored five in the seventh to go in front 7-5, but the Shockers answered with three runs in the ninth to take an 8-7 lead. Tyler Grimes and Chris O'Brien led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Springer drove in Grimes and Coy drove in O'Brien to tie the game at seven. The Shockers took the lead 8-7 when Springer scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Shockers are next in action on Fri., May 14 when they host Missouri State at 7 p.m.
Other Non-Conference Scores Around the Valley:
SIU Edwardsville 8, Bradley 5
Middle Tennessee State 10, Southern Illinois 2
SIU Edwardsville 3, Bradley 2