The Sycamores stay on the road with a Tuesday trip to No. 24 Vanderbilt
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State continues its final road trip of the 2022 season as the Sycamores travel to Hawkins Field on Tuesday night for a midweek matchup against No. 24 Vanderbilt. The first pitch between the two teams is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on SEC+ and 105.5 The Legend.
Indiana State dropped in two of three games against the Braves last weekend in Peoria as the Sycamores moved to fourth in the Missouri Valley standings with two weekends left to play. The ISU won the opener, 8-5, in a 12-inning affair, while the Sycamores lost the final two games 4-3, 5-3.
Throwing was the name of the game for the Sycamores over the weekend as the ISU staff combined for 37 strikeouts in the three games against the Braves. Matt Jachec (10) and Luke Patzner (11) both recorded the first double-digit batting games of their college careers, while Jack Parisi added an eight-out relief appearance to highlight the weekend streak.
Seth Gergely scored the go-ahead in the top of the 12th inning, while Sean Ross added a two-run single as the Sycamores rallied to win the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader, 8-5. Parisi played the final 5.2 innings in punt to take his fourth victory of the season, while Luis Hernandez homered in the Sycamore win.
Bradley used a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning off Carson Husmann’s bat to win Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Sycamores, 4-3. Joshua Urdaneta and Sean Ross gave the Sycamores the top spot with a pair of RBI singles and Connor Fenlong went 7.0 innings throughout his career taking the no-decision. However, with every point scored by ISU, Bradley had an answer for the night of the series.
The final game of the series went the same as Game 2 with Husmann again with the big hit in Bradley’s 5-3 win. Husmann hit a three-run homer late in the seventh inning to make up for another strong pitching performance by ISU. Luke Patzner struck out a career-high 11 batters, while Parker Stinson scored twice to highlight the Sycamores in the series finale.
Vanderbilt enters the midweek contest ranked in all major NCAA baseball polls with the Commodores sitting No. 24 in the D1Baseball poll, 25 in the BaseballAmerica poll, 16 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and No. 21 in the poll USA Today. As of this writing, the NCBWA poll has not been updated. Vandy is 31-15 overall and 12-12 in SEC play this season.
The Commodores were selected first in the SEC East Division, receiving nine first-place votes and 87 points overall. Vanderbilt enters the week third overall in the East, behind Tennessee (42-6, 20-4 SEC) and Georgia (32-16, 13-11 SEC) on the year. Vanderbilt is also 19-9 at Hawkins Field this season with series wins over Army, Wagner, Missouri and Florida. Vanderbilt is currently 1-0 against Missouri Valley this season with a 9-0 Feb. 23 victory over Evansville earlier this year.
Dominic Keegan paces Vanderbilt’s offense at home plate in the 2022 season as the senior designated hitter is posting a .398 batting average with a team-high 68 hits, 11 homers and 50 RBIs. Spencer Jones (.364) is also among the team’s hitting leaders this year with a team record 17 doubles under his belt. Enrique Bradfield Jr. is one of the most skilled base rushers in the nation this season and is a perfect 32 for 32 attempts this year.
Vanderbilt fell in a single midweek contest in 2022, with the Commodores dropping a 1-0 decision to Louisville at Hawkins Field last Tuesday. The Commodores have used nine different starting pitchers in the 2022 season, with all nine having ERAs below 5.00 on the year. Patrick Reilly (2-3, 3.29 ERA), Bryce Cunningham (2-1, 3.95 ERA) and Nick Maldonado (2-1, 3.47 ERA) have all fired multiple starts over the season and could to be in the mix to be on the mound in the midweek contest.
Best Vanderbilt Players
Two Vanderbilt players were recognized on the SEC preseason squad with Dominic Keegan and Enrique Bradfield Jr. both receiving first-team honors as voted on by league head coaches. Keegan currently ranks second overall in the SEC in batting average per team (.398), while Bradfield Jr. has been among the best and national leaders in the SEC in several categories, including runs (51) , stolen bases (32) and triples (5) .
Indiana State is 3-8 all-time against Vanderbilt in the all-time series dating back to Game 1 on March 12, 1987. The Sycamores won the inaugural game, 10-7, in Nashville and followed that up with a 13- 8 wins in second contest in 1990. Eight of the series’ 11 games were played at Tennessee. Indiana State and Vanderbilt also met three times in 2015 in Port Charlotte, Fla., with the Sycamores earning their last win in the series on Feb. 21, 2015.
The Sycamores will take a familiar trip to Hawkins Field this weekend. Indiana State’s last two trips to the NCAA tournament in 2019 and 2021 saw the Sycamores sent to the Nashville Regional. ISU fell twice to Vanderbilt in the 2019 playoffs, while Indiana State didn’t face the Commodores in the last NCAA Tournament.
Last time against Vanderbilt
Indiana State dropped twice in the 2019 NCAA Tournament to host Vanderbilt in the last meeting between the two teams. The Sycamores suffered their first loss to the Commodores in the winners group, 8-5, before falling to Vanderbilt in the regional final, 12-1. Vanderbilt held off a late Indiana State rally in Game 1 as the Sycamores scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. Roby Enriquez homered in the Finals against the Commodores in the 12-1 loss.
Indiana State went 15-9 overall in non-conference play following its midweek loss to Illinois. The Sycamores are 6-3 in neutral-site competition and 7-2 at home at Bob Warn Field this season, while sitting 2-4 in real non-conference road games. Indiana State non-conference schedule includes wins over BYU, Marshall, Merrimack, Minnesota (twice), Michigan, Wright State, SEMO (twice), Kansas (twice), Memphis (twice) , Purdue and Illinois.
Plane trees in the MVC
Indiana State enters the week in sole possession of fourth place in the Missouri Valley regular season standings with an 8-7 record on the year. The Sycamores are four games behind leader Evansville (12-3) and three games behind Southern Illinois (11-4). Dallas Baptist (9-6) is one game ahead of Indiana State, while Bradley (7-8) moved to one game behind the Sycamores after their series win over the weekend. Missouri State and Illinois State are both 5-10 in conference with two series remaining, while Valparaiso is eighth at 3-12. Missouri State, Illinois State and Bradley are all tied at three for fifth at 5-7 on the year. Valparaiso is currently eighth in the standings with a 3-9 record. The Sycamores still have a weekend series at Southern Illinois (May 13-15) and a home series against Dallas Baptist (May 18-20) left in the regular-season schedule.
Back on the road
Indiana State currently has a 6-6 record in real road games this season and a 6-3 mark in neutral-site competition since the start of the 2022 season. The Sycamores have lost three of their last four games on the road after trips to Illinois and Bradley. ISU’s only win in the streak came in Saturday’s opener with the Sycamores taking a 12-inning 8-5 win over the Braves.
Indiana State is hitting .296 on the road with seven different players hitting .300 or better on the road. Isaiah Thompson (.412) was the team leader at plate with seven hits in 17 at bats, while Sean Ross (.392) and Joshua Urdaneta (.382) have also been dominant at the plate this season. Ross, in particular, leads the Sycamores with eight extra hits, including two home runs, while adding a team-high 18 RBIs in road games this season.
From a pitch point of view, Matt Jachec (2-1, 3.67 ERA) continues to be the standard on the mound as they pace the Sycamores in innings pitched (27.0). Joey Hurt (1-2, 2.38 ERA) made two saves and allowed batters to hit just .237 from home plate, while Jake Ridway (Three), Luke Patzner (of them), Jack Parisi, Connor Fenlongand Brennyn Cups all fired starts on the road.
Follow the plane trees
For the latest information on the Sycamore Baseball team, be sure to check out GoSycamores.com. You can also find the team on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Fans can also receive updates on Sycamore Athletics by downloading the March On app from the App Store and Google Play Store.