Senior Andy Lasher picked an opportune time for his first-career home run, as he delivered a three-run blast in the top of the 13th inning to give the University of Evansville baseball team a 6-4 win over Indiana State Friday night in Missouri Valley Conference action at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute, Ind.
Evansville (18-29, 8-8 MVC) got base hits from six different players in the contest, including freshman Jonathan Ramon, who finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Redshirt sophomore Kyle Pollock posted a 2-for-5 effort with an RBI and fellow redshirt sophomore Kevin Kaczmarski recorded three hits in seven at-bats.
Senior Jake Naumann earned the win on the mound for UE, tossing 3.2 scoreless innings of relief. The right-handed reliever surrendered just two hits, struck out one and walked one. Starter Kyle Freeland went 8.1 strong innings and gave up three runs, all earned, on eight hits and struck out five in a no decision.
Evansville opened the contest by scoring two runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Kaczmarski opened the game with a single through the right side and scored on a one-out double by senior Jason Hockemeyer. Hockemeyer swiped third, before Pollock doubled the Aces' lead with a single to shallow right center.
Indiana State (18-19, 7-9 MVC) answered back with a run in the bottom of first, as the first three Sycamores to face Freeland all singled to start the game. Koby Kraemer drove in Landon Curry with a single to shallow center, before Freeland was able to limit the damage by getting Robby Ort to ground into a double play and retiring Mike Fitzgerald on a ground ball to first.
After four scoreless innings, UE pushed across an insurance run in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 3-1. Ramon doubled with one out to start the rally, when he ended up at second base, after Curry nearly made a diving catch in right center. Freshman Shain Showers then traded places with Ramon, as he doubled down the left field line.
Freeland gave up just three hits in the second through the eighth innings, but the Sycamores were able to rally in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. With one out in the inning, Kraemer coaxed a walk, before Ort tied the game with a two-run homer that snuck over the wall in left. Naumann took over for Freeland on the mound after a single by Fitzgerald and was able to get the final two outs of the frame.
Evansville was able to put the leadoff runner on in all four of the extra innings, but wasn't able to break through until the 13th. Redshirt junior Jake Mahon was hit by a pitch out of the hand of Daniel Peterson, who left the game with an elbow injury after just three pitches, to start the inning and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Ramon. ISU then elected to intentionally walk Showers, before Lasher put the Aces up for good with his three-run blast to left.
Indiana State threated in its half of the 13th, as the Sycamores took advantage of an error, a hit batter and a pair of walks by freshman Brent Jurckea to score an unearned run, but redshirt junior Sam Johns was able to come on in relief and strand the bases loaded to end the game, after getting Derek Hannahs to pop up behind the plate.
The Aces and Sycamores will continue the series tomorrow at noon, as senior Kyle Lloyd is scheduled to start for UE, while Sean Manaea is slated to take the mound for ISU.
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