Ben Ferrell singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Indiana State an 8-7 victory over Creighton in the first game of the 2010 State Farm MVC Tournament, Tuesday morning at Eck Stadium.
The Sycamore 10th started with a Tyler Graham single, followed by a sac bunt and a Jordan Pearson infield single that ricocheted off CU pitcher Mark Winkelman. Ferrell, hitting from the nine-hole, drilled a line drive that snuck over a drawn-in Alex Staehely at second for the winning run.
Eight different Sycamores (34-17) had RBI, as Graham led the way with three hits and two runs.
Staehely led Creighton (26-24) with a perfect 2-for-2 day with three RBI that included a solo home run. Staehely now has nine RBI in his last four games.
Scott Harlan pitched two innings of relief to move to 4-3 on the season. Winkelman (2-3) took the loss in his third inning on the hill, falling to 2-3.
Indiana State came back after the Jays had taken an early 5-1 lead. After the two squads traded runs in the first, Creighton put up four runs in the second.
The rally started with one out, as Carson Vitale singled, and Scott Thornburg walked before a wild pitch set up a Creighton run of four straight singles; three of which went through the left side.
Staehely knocked in the first, followed by a Robbie Knight RBI-single. An Elliot Soto bunt single loaded the bases, as Trever Adams posted a two-run single to give the Jays a four-run cushion.
The Sycamores chipped away with single runs in the third and fourth on Luke Fieser and Grant Grgurich’s RBI singles, before they rallied to take the lead with a four-run frame of their own in the sixth.
Indiana State sent nine men to the plate in the inning, started with singles by Jeremy Lucas and Graham, as Levi Ferguson plated the first run with a double to deep left.
Matt Patterson came on in relief with two runners in scoring position and promptly balked in the second run. After a walk and strikeout, Ryan Strausborger’s potential double play ball to first was thrown errantly to second by Ian Dike, as Ferguson scored from third to tie the game.
With runners on the corners, Grgurich laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt, giving the Sycamores the one-run lead. The game stayed tied until the Creighton half of the eighth, when Staehely lofted a sac fly to right with the bases loaded to send the game to extra innings before the Sycamore walk-off.
The Bluejays will next play seventh-seeded Bradley in a 9 a.m. elimination game on Wednesday. The Braves fell to second-seeded Illinois State, 3-0, on Tuesday.