EUGENE, ORE. —
Perhaps the cruelest fate of all during Indiana State’s 0-2 thud at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament was suffered by No. 1 pitcher Dakota Bacus.
The Sycamores’ Friday starter was pitched second in the rotation by ISU coach Rick Heller. Stellar all season, to the tune of being named the MVC’s Newcomer of the Year, Bacus struggled badly in ISU’s 8-5 loss to Evansville on May 23. He surrendered eight runs, including a six-run second inning.
With Bacus a strong possibility to get drafted this month in the Major League Baseball Draft, that uncharacteristic poor outing won’t be his swan song in a Sycamore uniform.
Bacus gets another shot at 5 p.m. (EDT) today against Cal-State Fullerton in the opening game of the NCAA Oregon Regional at PK Park. He’s pleased he gets his shot to make amends for Springfield.
“You live and you learn. I got better this week, took advantage of the time off we had and just learned from it,” Bacus said.
Bacus was the Sycamores’ meal ticket all season. Until the Evansville game, he had given up five or more earned runs just once – in his second outing of the season at Eastern Kentucky. Bacus was 7-4 with a 2.37 ERA to go with 89 strikeouts in 114 innings.
“It’s awesome to see him get a chance to redeem himself from the conference tournament. It was really his only bad outing of the year where he didn’t gave us a chance to win,” ISU coach Rick Heller said.
Bacus has the confident swagger of a No. 1 starter, a trait that can sometimes be confused for cockiness. Bacus also likes to get amped up for his starts.
“I go out there with a lot of adrenaline, but it’s not going to stop me from competing. He’s helping me channel in to who we're playing, what stage we’re at and how we can get there,” said Bacus, who is just six outs away from becoming ISU’s all-time single-season leader in innings pitched.
Bacus’s adrenaline is fine with Heller … as long as Bacus doesn’t go too far with it.
“I know he’s looking forward to it. I’ve been trying to calm him down and not let the emotions take over,” Heller said.
Bacus will have his hands full with Fullerton. The Titans hit .278 this season and boast one of the nation’s best players in outfielder Michael Lorenzen, who hit .303 with 14 stolen bases. Lorenzen was chosen in the seventh round of the MLB Draft by Tampa Bay in 2010 out of high school. Lorenzen is a first-team All-American.
Richy Pedroza led the Titans with a .332 average. Carlos Lopez also hit .307.
“The thing Dakota has to do is throw strikes. They’re very similar to Creighton in that they thrive off of free bases. They’re going to bunt and hit-and-run,” Heller said.
“They’re going to bunt and run, but that’s no different than any other team we’ve played. That’s my mentality and that’s my approach,” Bacus said.
Fullerton (35-19) also has an excellent pitching staff, but the Sycamores won’t see the Titans’ ace. ISU believes Fullerton will go with No. 2 starting pitcher Grahamm Wiest, instead of ace Dylan Floro, who was a third-team All-American.
Wiest is no slouch. The right-hander was 5-5 with a 2.78 ERA and 56 strikeouts against just 16 walks.
“We can take them throwing their No. 2 a couple of different ways. I see it as our advantage. They might be under-playing us a bit … and that’s fine. But whoever they put out there, we’re going to be a tough out,” ISU catcher Jeremy Lucas said.
Fullerton (35-19) was fifth in the nation in surrendering the fewest walks. The Titans distributed 100 free passes in 480 innings.
“We have some aggressive hitters and it plays into our hands when a guy is throwing strikes. We’re known for being swingers, so that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stick to our approach and go hit the ball,” Lucas said.
When Fullerton turns to its bullpen, it turns to Lorenzen. He had 16 saves and an ERA of 1.23 in his dual role as an outfielder and pitcher.
Like ISU, Fullerton was able to win most of its weekend series. The Sycamores won 12 weekend series in a row at one point. Fullerton had a stretch of 11 in a row.
PK Park sits next to Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, home of the football Ducks. The field is entirely comprised of field turf, something the Sycamores are used to given that they play on a field turf infield at Bob Warn Field.
The winner of today’s game will play the winner of the Oregon-Austin Peay matchup at 9 p.m. Saturday. If ISU loses, it plays at 5 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
EUGENE, ORE. —
Perhaps the cruelest fate of all during Indiana State’s 0-2 thud at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament was suffered by No. 1 pitcher Dakota Bacus.
ISU's athletic treasure trove
Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
Ort sets ISU RBI record in 16-7 win
Robby Ort celebrated his Indiana State baseball Senior Day on Saturday by becoming the Sycamores’ all-time leader in RBIs as ISU ended its regular season with a 16-7 win over Bradley at Bob Warn Field.
Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
Indiana State women add five transfers, including experienced D-I point guard
Indiana State coach Teri Moren believes the addition of five more newcomers to the program — in addition to the five who had already joined the program earlier this calendar year — will provide her coaching staff the athleticism and depth it needs to play a successful, up-tempo brand of basketball next season.
Metro roundup: Woods softball takes seventh in national tournament
The St. Mary-of-the-Woods softball team finished seventh in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association softball tournament on Tuesday at Firestone Stadium.
Metro Roundup: Indiana State’s Shakir Bell on Performance Awards watch list
College Football Performance Awards has announced its watch list for the 2013 CFPA FCS Running Back Award, and Indiana State’s Shakir Bell earned a spot on the list.
ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
Johnson, Lyke win MVC titles for ISU
Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson and Maurice Lyke were both crowned Missouri Valley Conference champions on Saturday during the MVC Track and Field Championships at Drake University.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
Metro roundup: RHIT’s Evans sets Div. III record in high jump
For the third time this season, Rose-Hulman senior Liz Evans topped the NCAA Division III all-time national record in the outdoor high jump Friday night.
ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
Indiana State produced two champions during the opening day of action in the Missouri Valley Conference track and field championships Friday at Drake. Freshman John Mascari, a Terre Haute native, won the men’s 10,000-meter race and Nicole Hope won the women’s pole vault for the second time in three seasons.
ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Sycamores searching for answers after seventh loss in eight games
These are the bad times for the Indiana State baseball team.
The will is there for the Sycamores to pull out of their worst slump of the season, but the results are not. The suffering continued on Wednesday at Bob Warn Field as Eastern Illinois defeated ISU 5-3.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU men's track picked first in MVC Championships, women second
The Indiana State men’s track team has won the last two Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships, but the women have not stood on the top podium since 1999.
That may change this year, but the Sycamores will face some stiff competition in their quest for the championships.
North grad Welker helps Whitson earn first NCAA bid as coach
Eastern Kentucky girls golf coach Mike Whitson, an alumnus of his employer, enjoyed his stay in Terre Haute as coach of Indiana State, where he started the women’s golf program.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman wins HCAC all-sports trophy
Rose-Hulman has won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s all-sports trophy for the fifth time in the past six year, the league announced Monday.
Rose tallied 66.5 points for its finishes in 11 men’s sports, just ahead of Franklin with 66. Hanover was third with 53 points.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman tennis falls in HCAC semifinal
Rose-Hulman’s hot streak in men’s tennis came to an end Saturday in the semifinal round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament at the West Indy Racquet Club.
Manaea fights off bad hip, wet weather to toss four innings
Mother Nature has been the bane of the Indiana State baseball team’s existence all season. Eight games wiped due to weather are a testament to that. So it was no surprise, though no less disappointing, when she didn’t deal Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea the greatest hand on Saturday as he tries to recover from a hip injury.
ISU track enjoys big night at IU's Billy Hayes Invitational
The Indiana State Sycamores either won or finished as the top collegian in 12 events, led by the record-breaking performance of senior Brandon Pounds at the 2013 Billy Hayes Invitational Friday at Indiana University.
Pounds broke his own school record to win the men’s hammer throw.
Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
The Sycamores have filled in most of the blanks in their nonconference schedule, but as ever, ISU coach Greg Lansing would like to visit the friendly confines of Hulman Center a bit more often.
Secret weapon: Kelsey Rosselli finishing Woods career with a bang
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, reporting game results to the Tribune-Star after a win or a loss is not always a high priority.
So when one of its athletes enjoys an outstanding season, like senior Kelsey Rosselli is doing for the Pomeroys’ softball team in 2013, media publicity doesn’t always follow.
In fact, her efforts almost seem like a government secret.
Rosselli’s name might sound familiar to longtime Terre Haute softball followers because she was a standout for North High School, from where she graduated in 2009.
Since then, she’s helped The Woods finish runner-up in three straight U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national tournaments in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
Metro roundup: ISU hands out spring awards
The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller
Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
ISU relay teams enjoy strong day at Drake Relays
It was a day for the relay teams to shine at the 104th Drake Relays Saturday as four of the five Indiana State relay teams that competed ran times that put the team among the top five in school history for their respective events.
Indiana State baseball series canceled
Heavy rain from Thursday through Saturday has forced Indiana State and Tennessee Martin to cancel their three-game weekend baseball series in northwest Tennessee.
Metro roundup; Five Wabash Valley players on Terre Haute Rex team
The Terre Haute Rex will look to three-peat as Prospect League Western Division champions with a roster that includes a quartet of Wabash Valley players. Indiana State University standouts Tyler Wampler and Josh Dove will reunite with former Little League and high school rivals Cody Gardner (Wright State), Tim Johnson (Vincennes) and Bryan Nacke (Vincennes) for the summer season.
Indiana State loses 2 in MVC softball
Indiana State aspired to upset Illinois State to get at least a doubleheader split in Missouri Valley Conference softball Thursday at Price Field as the Sycamores opened an eight-game season-ending homestand.
Paige Schreiner hit a two-run blast over the left-field fence in the fifth inning and junior Shelby Wilson delivered a sizzling RBI triple down the right-field line in the sixth as ISU ended the day playing well against the league’s highest-scoring offense.
The result was still a 5-3 loss to the Redbirds (26-18, 11-6 Missouri Valley Conference) as freshman Halle Humphrey gave up four runs in the first two innings. Humphrey, called upon to pitch the opener as well — she’s the only full-time pitcher remaining on the team — gave up six runs and eight hits as the Sycamores dropped a 6-1 game to start the day.
Sycamores fall: Slumping ISU drops 8-1 decision to No. 19-ranked IU
The margin in baseball between success and failure is so tight.
Indiana State learned that lesson the hard way against No. 19-ranked Indiana on Wednesday.
For most of the contest, ISU matched IU hit-for-hit, but couldn’t match the Hoosiers run-for-run as IU took maximum advantage of its baserunners to post an 8-1 victory at IU’s new Bart Kaufman Field.
IU — winners of four in a row and owners of a 19-game win streak earlier this season — proved its quality by putting the foot on the gas in the last three innings of the contest. The Hoosiers scored five of their runs in that period.
But up until that point, the game was in either team’s hands, but the Hoosiers took it with better situational hitting. IU’s first baserunners in three separate innings came around to score; two of them did so with two outs on the board.
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