Sycamore Baseball Has 10 Days Off; Resume Play At Ball State On May 7
April 29, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Sycamore baseball team has an unusual break from competition this week as they will not play again until Wednesday, May 7, when they begin their final push to the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament by travelling to Ball State for a mid-week game.
Indiana State (29-13) did not have a game scheduled this week due to final examinations but did have a weekend series with the Grambling State University Tigers on the original schedule. However, Grambling had to cancel the series back in March due to concerns over travel costs for the season.
Sycamore coach Mitch Hannahs tried to find a replacement series or a game or two for the weekend but he was unable to find a team to play.
Ball State Next Up For Sycamores
The Ball State Cardinals (30-14) will be another good mid-week test for the Sycamores as Indiana State begins their final push to the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament which will be held in Terre Haute May 20-24.
The Cardinals also did not have a mid-week game scheduled this week but will play at Akron in a Mid-America Conference series this weekend before returning home to host Indiana State. Freshman third baseman Sean Kennedy is leading the team at the plate with a .354 batting average while senior right fielder Sean Godfrey is averaging .330.
Missouri State Final Home Series Of Season
Indiana State will host the Missouri State Bears in their final regular season weekend home series May 9-11. The series is not only the final Missouri Valley Conference home series of the year, it will also be the final regular season home appearance for several Sycamores.
Shortstop Tyler Wampler (West Terre Haute, Ind.), third baseman Cody Zimmerman (Newark, Calif.), senior infielder/designated hitter Michael Eberle (Terre Haute, Ind.), outfielder Owen Conway (Hillsboro, Mo.), pitcher Tyler Browning (Mount Carmel, Ill.), catcher Mike Fitzgerald (Rochester, Ill.), pitcher Kurt Kudrecki (Dyer, Ind.), and pitcher Josh Dove (Terre Haute, Ind.) are competing in their final season at Indiana State. Three pitchers, Daniel Peterson (Lenexa, Kan.), Josh Negele (Crown Point, Ind.), and Tyler Pazik (Niles, Ill.) have been injured and unable to compete this season.
The seniors and their families will be honored during ceremonies on Sunday, May 11.
Vs. Ball State: This will be the 139th meeting between Indiana State and Ball State with the Sycamores holding an 87-51 edge in the series which began in 1919. Indiana State has won five of the last seven games including the last three with the Sycamores winning 4-3 over the Cardinals in Terre Haute a year ago. The last Ball State win came in 2010 when the Cardinals prevailed 12-5 in Muncie, Ind.
Vs. Missouri State: When Indiana State takes the field against Missouri State on May 9, it will mark the 99th meeting between the two schools since they first began to meet on the baseball field in 1972. The Bears hold a 61-37 lead in the series and have won the last five meetings including a sweep of their conference series a year ago (3-0, 5-1, 8-7). The last Indiana State win came in the opening game of the 2012 series in Terre Haute when the Sycamores prevailed 7-5.
Last Time Out
Indiana State claimed the weekend series from the Dallas Baptist Patriots with a 3-2 victory on Sunday. The Sycamores won the Friday night meeting 6-5 but the Patriots were able to take the second game on Saturday 8-5.
On Friday, David Stagg had another good pitching performance as he improved to 6-3 on the season, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out 10 and walking three. It was the second time this season that Stagg had 10 or more strikeouts in a game as he recorded 11 strikeouts at Belmont on Feb. 22. Nick Kolarick took over with one out in the eighth but was relieved in the ninth by Ryan Keaffaber who picked up his league leading ninth save of the season. Indiana State scored six runs on 10 hits with McClain leading the way with a triple and a single. Landon Curry and Hunter Owen had two singles each, Brian Romero a home run, and Tyler Wampler, Jeff Zahn, and Derek Hannahs had a single each.
On Saturday, Brad Lombard started on the mound for the Sycamores and went seven innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking two. The Sycamore junior fell to 6-2 on the season with the loss. Austin Conway came on and pitched the final two innings, shutting out the Patriots on two hits while striking out two and walking none. The Sycamores scored five runs on 11 hits but left 10 runners on base during the game. Cody Zimmerman led the way at the plate for Indiana State with three singles in four at-bats. Derek Hannahs had a double and a single, Jeff Zahn two singles, Brian Romero a double, and Landon Curry, Tyler Wampler, and Connor McClain had a single each.
On Sunday, Kurt Kudrecki had one of his best outings of the season as he went 6.1 innings to improve to 5-3 on the season. The senior allowed one run on two hits while striking out one and walking four. Josh Dove took over in the seventh and finished the game for his second save of the season and fourth of his career. The senior allowed a run on two hits while striking out two and walking one in 2.2 innings of work. The Sycamores scored three runs on five hits with Landon Curry connecting for three of those hits, all singles. Jacob Hayes and Connor McClain also had a single each.
Wampler Added To Brooks Wallace Shortstop Of Year Watch List
Indiana State senior shortstop Tyler Wampler (West Terre Haute, Ind.) has been named to the watch list for the 2014 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. He is one of just two Missouri Valley Conference shortstops named to the list.
Wampler has a .287 batting average and a .979 fielding average in 41 games this season with 132 assists.
The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation's top shortstop and will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.
Keaffaber Added To NCBWA Stopper Of Year Watch List
Indiana State reliever Ryan Keaffaber is among 50 players who have been named to the mid-season watch list for the 10th Annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Mid-Season Stopper of the Year Award. The award is given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I Baseball with the winner announced at the 2014 College World Series.
Keaffaber, a freshman from Wabash, Ind., leads Indiana State with eight saves in 16 relief appearances this season. He also has two starts and a 2-1 record with a 2.47 ERA in 43.2 innings of work.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 4, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition. The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner.