TERRE HAUTE – Indiana State used a three run eighth inning to overcome Wright State in NCAA Baseball Regional action Friday afternoon. The Sycamores, hosting their first regional in history, won 6-5 over the Raiders.
Indiana State, the No. 1 seed in the four team regional, got a clutch two-out two-RBI single from catcher Grant Magil to give the Sycamores their only lead of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Reliever Jared Spencer retired the three batters he faced in the final inning to earn the save. The win sends ISU to Saturday’s 7 p.m. game versus the winner of Big Ten Tournament Champion Iowa and North Carolina which was played Friday evening.
WSU came out firing early in the contest. The Raiders took advantage of two costly ISU errors and hit two homeruns to build their lead to 5-2 after five innings against Sycamore starter Matt Jachec.
Indiana State made a pitching change in the top of the sixth inning bringing in reliever Zach Davidson. The lefty stymied the high-powered Raiders’ offense. Davidson allowed no runs and struck out five in his four innings of work.
Indiana State Coach Mitch Hannahs said his team was able to hang in the game because of Davidson’s performance. The lefty allowed no runs and struck out five in his four innings of work which gave the Sycamores the chance they needed to get back into the ball game
“That wasn’t the way we drew it out, by any means,” Hannahs said. “I told our club that we made some really uncharacteristic mistakes and put ourselves in a tough spot. I think when you do that and you don’t get a great start on the mound, you’re digging uphill. I’m just very thankful
for what Zach Davidson gave us, I feel like he stabilized the game for us and gave us a chance with some AB’s to get back in it.”
In the pivotal eighth frame, ISU was able to score three runs. Josue Urdaneta singled to left field to start the inning. After a pop out, Mike Sears doubled and the Sycamores were in business with runners on second and third. Adam Pottinger then recorded his second RBI of the game when he hit a sacrifice fly to score Urdnaeta. After two consecutive walks, the Sycamores had bases loaded when catcher Grant Magill singled to right field scoring two runs.
Magill said he wanted to get the big hit because of how his teammates had not giving up and kept clawing back.
“You see how that inning develops, you just watch our guys go up there and battle,” Magill said. “They go up there, hard-nosed, just not going to get out, and that’s all you can ask. They were so tough today, and I could tell, especially after Miguel Rivera got on base, that it was time. No matter how, I just wanted to get it done for the guys, and it worked out.”
Hannahs said the comeback showed what type of team ISU has this season. With the victory, the team has now won 35 of their last 39 games. “I think it just reinforces the character that our team has, 1-9 [in the lineup] and our pitching staff, that we’re going to show up and play good ball every day,” Hannahs said. I’m just so proud of [our team] and that we get to play another day, and the plan is to just keep playing until we get the ball taken out of our hands,”
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