Courtesy of Indiana State Athletics
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Indiana State Baseball (27-16, 7-5 MVC) is coming off a weekend sweep over ranked Missouri State. The sweep moved the Sycamores back into the number two spot in the Missouri Valley Conference. Indiana State will travel to Wichita State, for a three-game series with the current MVC fifth ranked Shockers who are
Friday, May 6 – @ Wichita State – 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, May 7 – @ Wichita State – 3:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 8 – @ Wichita State – 2:00 p.m. ET
Right On Pace
The Sycamores are on pace to post the highest team batting average since the 2012 season, as they currently are hitting .283 as a team. The team currently holds the highest slugging percentage (.401) since the 2012 season. Junior Hunter Owen‘s 60 hits puts him on pace to break the 2012 season’s most hits category, set at 78 by former ISU player, Jeremy Lucas. Owen also looks to surpass Lucas’ single season runs scored from the 2012 season (53). MVC statistics notch the team first in the fielding category with a .980 percentage, while the NCAA as a whole slates the Sycamore defense at sixth in the nation. The Sycamore pitching staff is currently second in the MVC with a 3.62 ERA. Owen is second in the total hits category among MVC players with 60, as well as second in runs scores with 44. Senior Andy Young is third in the MVC with 43 runs scored, while senior Andy DeJesus is second in the most triples category amongst MVC players with five, and sixteenth in the NCAA for the same category. Hunter Owen and Andy Young round out the top 30 in the NCAA for hit by pitches as they rank seventeenth and twenty-seventh, respectively.
Jeremy McKinney has been the Sycamores’ go-to closer for a majority of the season. Throughout the three-game series with Missouri State, the Franklin, Ind., native earned one win and two saves, as he made appearances in all three games of the weekend. McKinney tossed four complete innings, giving up four hits, one run, zero walks, and striking out one. The righty entered Friday’s game in the top of the ninth inning when the Sycamores and Bears were tied, as he held the Bears scoreless in the top half of the inning just before the Sycamores notched their fourth walk-off win of the season in the bottom half. McKinney owns best ERA amongst active pitchers on the team with a 2.41, has made the most appearances with 21, and scored his sixth and seventh saves of the season this weekend. Currently, McKinney is on pace to surpass the eleven saves teammate Ryan Keaffaber tallied in the 2014 season.
One More Win
Thus far this season, Sycamore Baseball has locked in 27 wins. With eleven games left in the regular season, the team needs one more win to tie last season’s wins and two more to move ahead of last season.
A Little History
The Sycamores are 45-98 all-time against the Shockers, with their first meeting having been in the 1978 season. Last season, the Sycamores dropped the series as the Shockers took two of three.
Scouting The Competition
The Shockers are currently 6-6 in the MVC and hold the fifth spot. Despite their overall record of 16-29, the Shockers have been on a steady incline since beginning conference play. Friday’s projected starter, LHP Cody Tyler, was named the MVC pitcher of the week after he pitched a complete game shutout in Wichita State’s 8-0 victory over Southern Illinois. Three Shockers are batting just over .300 in Trey Vickers, Greyson Jenista, and Dayton Dugas. Jenista, Dugas, and teammates Luke Ritter, Ryan Tinkham and Mikel Mucha have tallied over 20 RBIs, as Gunnar Troutwine leads with 32 RBIs.
This weekend’s three-game, MVC series will be broadcast on ESPN3, and can be heard on 1130 WIBQ AM. Game one will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday night, while Saturday’s game will take place at 3:00 p.m. ET, and the final game on Sunday will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information, checkout GoSycamores.com, or follow Sycamore Baseball on Facebook and Twitter.