The Indiana State baseball
team closes out their 10-game road swing to open the 2013 season this weekend
as the Sycamores travel to Richmond, Ky., for a three-game set with the Eastern
The Sycamores and Colonels both enter the weekend at 3-4 on the season, playing all 14 of their combined games away from their home stadiums.
Friday: 2:00 p.m.
Saturday: 1:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m.
Probable Indiana State Pitching Rotation
Friday: Sean Manaea (Jr. -- LHP -- 6-5 -- 235 -- Wanatah, Ind. -- Andrean HS)
Notes: Ninth pitcher in ISU history to tally 100+ Ks in a season (115 in 2012) ... 213 career strikeouts
2013 Season Stats: 0-1 record ... 0.90 ERA ... 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 10 Ks vs. College of Charleston last Friday
Saturday: Daniel Peterson (Jr. -- RHP -- 6-6 -- 182 -- Lenexa, Kan. -- Neosho County CC)
Notes: Transfer from Neosho County CC ... earned all-state honors while at De Soto HS (KS)
2013 Season Stats: 0-1 record ... 5.73 ERA ... 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 Ks vs. Middle Tennessee last Saturday
Sunday: Jeff Degano (Jr. -- LHP -- 6-4 -- 200 -- Surrey, British Columbia -- Marshalltown CC)
Notes: Transfer from Marshalltown CC ... pitched last summer for the Catawaba Valley Stars
2013 Season Stats: 0-1 record ... 5.40 ERA ... 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R (3 ER), 2 Ks vs. Auburn last Sunday
A Little History
This weekend's series with Eastern Kentucky will be the 13th, 14th and 15th meetings between the teams with Indiana State leading the series by a 10-2 margin. ISU and EKU met last season in Richmond, with the Sycamores coming away with a 2-1 series win. The Sycamores hit .361 (43-for-119) as a team last season including nine home runs.
Indiana State has totaled a 28-27 record in the month of February over the past 10 seasons, including a 13-14 record under fourth-year head coach Rick Heller. Below is a quick look at Indiana State's record in the month of February over the past 10 seasons.
2013 -- 3-4 2008 -- 1-3
2012 -- 4-3 2007 -- 2-1
2011 -- 2-4 2006 -- 1-3
2010 -- 4-3 2005 -- 1-2
2009 -- 7-1 2004 -- 1-3
18 In March
Last season, Indiana State posted an 18-3 record in the month of March, their most wins in a single month since going 19-9 during April of 1991. The Sycamores also ran off 13 consecutive wins from March 4-23.
Manaea Named To Three Preseason All-America Teams
Junior Sean Manaea earned selection to a trio of Preseason All-America teams heading into the season, as Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game each selected the Indiana State southpaw as a First Team All-American. Below is a quick look at the last All-America selections for the Indiana State baseball team:
ABCA: OF Dan Olson, 1996 Collegiate Baseball: DH Todd Tatlock, 1995
Baseball America: SP Casey Whitten, 1993 Sporting News: 3B Chad McDonald, 1990
Manaea Tabbed On Golden Spikes Award Watch List
Junior Sean Manaea was named to the Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List heading into the 2013 season, an award presented by USA Baseball at the end of the season to the top amateur baseball player in the country. Manaea is one of 50 student-athletes from around the nation to earn selection to the preseason list.
Manaea, Ort Named Preseason All-MVC
Senior Robby Ort and junior Sean Manaea were named to the Preseason All-MVC Team heading into the season in a vote conducted by the eight head coaches from around the MVC.
Ort, a native of Newburgh, Ind., and Castle High School, hit .291 last season while leading the team with 54 RBIs and 20 doubles. Over his three seasons at Indiana State, Ort has totaled 157 runs batted in, needing 17 more in his senior season to break into the Top 5 in school history.
Manaea, an Andrean High School product and Wanatah, Ind., native, went 5-3 on the mound with a 3.34 ERA last season, leading the team with 115 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched. Manaea's 115 strikeouts last season ranked the southpaw in a tie for 13th on a national scale, while his 213 career Ks puts Manaea in a tie for 10th in school history.
Sycamores Picked Third In MVC Preseason Poll
In a vote conducted by the eight head coaches from around the Missouri Valley Conference, Indiana State was picked to finish in third place during the upcoming 2013 season.
Coming off their first outright regular season MVC championship in program history and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1995, the Sycamores return 14 total letterwinners, five position starters and seven pitchers from last year's squad that finished 41-19 on the season and participated in the NCAA Regional in Eugene, Ore. Indiana State welcomes 14 newcomers to the team and will have six student-athletes eligible after redshirting in 2012.
Missouri State was voted as the preseason favorite in the league, receiving six first-place votes and 60 points overall. Wichita State (one first-place vote, 47 points) checks in second while Illinois State (one first-place vote, 45 points) and Indiana State (45 points) tied for third. Southern Illinois (36 points), Bradley (21 points), 2012 MVC Tournament champions Creighton (18 points) and Evansville (16 points) round out the bottom half of the preseason poll.
Indiana State will face a tough MVC schedule this season despite having four home series against three on the road. ISU's three road trips in conference play this season are against the top three teams in the preseason poll, as the Sycamores travel to Missouri State on March 29-31, Wichita State on April 5-7 and Illinois State on April 19-21. Indiana State's home series are against Southern Illinois (March 22-24), Creighton (April 12-14), Evansville (May 3-5) and Bradley (May 16-18). Illinois State will host the 2013 MVC Tournament at Duffy Bass Field, beginning on Tuesday, May 21.
ISU Claims First Outright Regular Season Title In School History
Indiana State earned their first outright Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship in 2012, finishing the league schedule with a 14-7 record. The 2012 season marked the fourth time in program history that the Sycamores have sat atop the standings at the end of the season, joining the teams from 1982, 1983 and 1985. The 1982 and 1983 squads won the East Division of the MVC while the 1985 team tied with Wichita State.
Indiana State received an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament field on Selection Monday last season, just the second time in school history that the Sycamores have made the postseason without winning the MVC Tournament. ISU claimed their only other at-large selection back in 1987 when the Sycamores fell in the conference finals to Wichita State, ending the regular season at 44-16-1 before going 1-2 in a regional in Austin, Texas.
Indiana State posted their fourth straight winning season in 2012 and third straight under head coach Rick Heller. ISU's last run of four consecutive winning seasons came from 2000-03, while the last time that Indiana State posted five winning seasons in a row came during a 17-year run from 1977-1993.
Strong In The Field
Indiana State has ranked in the Top 35 in fielding percentage in all three of their seasons under head coach Rick Heller, one of only nine teams in the nation to do so from 2010-2012. Three of the nine from around the nation are from the Missouri Valley Conference, as Evansville and Creighton are also in the select group.
Eight Shutouts Last Season
The Sycamores recorded eight shutouts last season, their highest total since blanking opponents nine times during both the 1985 and 1983 seasons. The school record for shutouts in a single season is 10, set by the 1977 squad.
Allowing Big Innings
Under head coach Rick Heller, the Sycamores are 71-20 (.780) when the team does not allow a three-run inning during a game. When Indiana State does allow their opponent to score at least three runs in one inning, Indiana State holds a 37-50 (.425) record.
ISU Sets School Record For Hit By Pitches, Ranks Fifth In The NCAA
Indiana State finished fifth in the NCAA in hit by pitches last season, breaking the team's school record by totaling 105 HBPs. ISU also tied a school record for single-game HBPs against SIU Edwardsville (March 13, 2012), as the Sycamores were hit by seven pitches during the game. ISU was also hit by seven pitches twice during the 2008 season, on March 15 at the College of Charleston and on May 13 against Miami (Ohio). Landon Curry led the team with 20 HBPs, while Jeff Miera (15), Jeremy Lucas (10), Robby Ort (10) and Tyler Wampler (10) also went into double figures.
Three Sycamores Earn MVC Specialty Awards In 2012
Jeremy Lucas and Dakota Bacus and head coach Rick Heller each claimed a specialty award from the MVC following the 2012 season, highlighted by Lucas becoming the program's first conference Player of the Year. Bacus was named the Newcomer of the Year for the conference while Heller earned the Dan Callahan / MVC Coach of the Year award.
Lucas hit a team-leading .345 last season, topping the roster in hits (78), home runs (nine), runs scored (53), slugging percentage (.540) and on-base percentage (.443). The Cleveland Indians draftee also totaled 52 RBIs and 13 doubles. Bacus went 7-4 with a 2.70 ERA on the mound, tossing three complete games. The Oakland Athletics selection set the program record for innings pitches in the single season, racking up 116.2 innings on the mound. Heller was named the Dan Callahan / MVC Coach of the Year following the 41-19 season for the Sycamores, their first 40-win season since 1992.
Manaea Joins 200 Strikeout Club
Junior Sean Manaea struck out 10 batters last weekend against College of Chalreston, continuing his climb up the career rankings at Indiana State. Manaea totaled 115 Ks in his sophomore season, ranking in a tie for third in school history for single-season strikeouts. Below is a quick look at the career leaders in strikeouts at Indiana State.
1. Casey Whitten (1991-93) - 299 T7. Tom Browning (1993-96) - 217
2. Mike Gardiner (1984-87) - 296 9. Paul Quizner (1983-86) - 214
3. Brad Finken (1994-97) - 275 T10. Chris Schaefer (1987-89) - 213
4. Blaise Ilsley (1983-85) - 274 T10. Sean Manaea (2011-present) - 213
5. Mitch Stetter (2000-03) - 254 12. Joe Thatcher (2001-04) - 209
6. Mike Farrell (1988-91) - 248 13. Matt Zaleski (2001-04) - 200
T7. John Howes (1982-86) - 217
Productive At The Plate: Part I
Senior Robby Ort has led the team in runs batted in following each of his first three seasons at Indiana State, totaling 157 RBIs in his freshman through junior seasons. The Newburgh, Ind., native has also increased his production in all three seasons, improving from 50 RBIs as a freshman to 53 RBIs as a sophomore to 54 RBIs as a junior. In 2012, Ort became the first Sycamore in program history to lead the team in runs batted in for three consecutive seasons.
Productive At The Plate: Part II
Senior Robby Ort enters the weekend with 161 career RBIs at the plate, ranking sixth in program history at ISU. Below is quick look at the Top 10 for RBIs in school history.
1. Boi Rodriguez (1985-87) - 200 6. Robby Ort (2010-present) - 161
2. Chad McDonald (1988-90) - 198 7. Bob Zeihen (1985-88) - 159
3. Dan Frye (1989-92) - 186 8. Mike Lexa (1984-86) - 154
4. John LaMar (1989-92) - 175 9. Dan Olson (1994-96) - 153
5. Mike Eberle (1984-87) - 174 10. Kevin Egli (2000-03) - 151
Steady At Short
Junior Tyler Wampler has been a mainstay on defense for the Sycamores, starting 101 games at shortstop over his three seasons. Wampler has tallied 346 fielding assists (140 as a freshman in 2011, 184 as a sophomore in 2012, 22 in 2013) in his time at Indiana State, a total that puts the West Terre Haute, Ind., native on pace to break Dan Frye's school record of 541.
Freshman At The Top
Sophomore Landon Curry led Indiana State with 16 stolen bases last season as a true freshman, ranking in a tie for sixth in the MVC overall. Curry became the first freshman since Bob Zeihen in 1985 to lead the Sycamores in steals as a rookie. The Uniondale, Ind., native is off to a fast start again in 2013, swiping five bases already this season.
Best Winning Percentage In The MVC Since 2009
Indiana State has posted 141 wins and a .608 winning percentage since the 2009 season, the best winning percentage in that span among teams in the MVC. ISU is second to Wichita State (145) in overall wins, but leads the way in winning percentage due to playing 14 fewer games.
The Sycamores scored the first run in 38 of their 60 games last season, tallying a 31-7 record when putting a run on the scoreboard first. ISU scored in the first inning in 25 of their games, going 22-3 last season when plating a run in the opening frame. That trend has continued into 2013, as Indiana State is 3-1 when scoring first and 1-0 when scoring in the opening inning.
Three Runs Or Less
The three-run plateau has been the breaking point for the Sycamores under head coach Rick Heller the last four seasons. When ISU has allowed three runs or less to their opponents, the team is 64-9 (.877) over the past four seasons. When opponents score four runs or more, ISU holds a 44-61 (.419) record.
Indiana State recorded at least 10 hits in a game 29 times last season, going 26-3 when posting double-digit hits. Indiana State's only losses when tallying 10 hits came in walk-off wins for their opponents. So far in 2013, ISU is 2-0 when posting 10 hits or more and 1-4 when going for nine hits or less.
The Sycamores dominated the early innings last season, outscoring their opponents 242-110 (+132) over the first five innings of their 60 games. In the first inning alone, Indiana State had a 37-run advantage, scoring 58 runs to their opposition's 21.
Getting To The Seventh
Under head coach Rick Heller, Indiana State is 79-14 in games that they hold a lead heading into the seventh inning. When the Sycamores have trailed after the sixth inning, ISU is 16-51.
Indiana State Around The NCAA
The Sycamores finished the 2012 season among the nation's best in several offensive and defensive categories. Below is a look at where Indiana State ranked around the NCAA:
Category ISU Rank ISU Total NCAA Leader / Total
Total Wins T-21st 41 Stony Brook / 52
Win/Loss Pct. T-25th .683 Utah Valley / .797
Hit By Pitches 5th 104 Delaware State / 152
Sacrifice Flies T-20th 34 Florida / 46
ERA 32nd 3.25 Missouri State / 2.57
Fielding Pct. 35th .974 Evansville / .981
Total Runs T-37th 374 Utah Valley / 532
Walks Allowed P/G 39th 2.89 Cal State Fullerton / 1.87
Hits 41st 609 Arizona / 756
K-to-BB Ratio 42nd 2.42 Florida / 3.65
Runs Per Game T-46th 6.2 Utah Valley / 9.0
Against The Best
ISU went 7-8 last season against teams that were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament field, including series wins over Dallas Baptist (No. 2 seed, Waco Regional) and Creighton (No. 4 seed, Los Angeles Regional). ISU posted a 14-13 record against the RPI Top 100 in 2012.
ISU ranked above the league average in batting, pitching and fielding last season, one of just two teams in the MVC to do so. ISU ranked third in batting average (.288), second in ERA (3.25) and fourth in fielding percentage (.974). Wichita State also finished last season above the league averages of .276 at the plate, 3.81 on the mound and .971 in the field.
In Indiana State's four seasons under head coach Rick Heller, the Sycamores are 62-46 (.574) in games decided by three runs or less. In games decided by four or more runs since 2010, Indiana State carries a 46-24 (.657) record. This season, Indiana State is 2-3 in games decided by three runs or less.
ISU came away winners on 12 of their 14 weekends in 2012, including a string of 12 straight from Feb. 24-26 through May 11-13. Below is a look at last season's weekend results.
Feb. 17-19, at Southeastern
Louisiana -- L, 0-3 Apr. 6-8, at
Creighton -- W, 2-1
Feb. 24-26, Bulldog Classic -- W, 4-0 Apr. 13-15, at Bradley -- W, 2-1
Mar. 3-4, at Eastern Kentucky -- W, 2-1 Apr. 20-22, vs. Dallas Baptist -- W, 2-1
Mar. 9-11, vs. UT Martin -- W, 3-0 Apr. 27-29, vs. Nebraska Omaha -- W, 2-1
Mar. 15-18, Irish Classic -- W, 4-0 May 4-6, vs. Wichita State -- W, 2-1
Mar. 23-25, at Evansville -- W, 2-1 May 11-13, at Southern Illinois -- W, 3-0
Mar. 30-Apr. 1, vs. Illinois State -- W, 2-1 May 17-19, vs. Missouri State -- L, 1-2
Indiana State's 10-4 win over Southern Illinois on May 13 last season gave the Sycamores their 40th win of the season, the 10th time in program history that ISU broke the 40-win barrier. ISU's 41 wins in 2012 tied for seventh-most in school history and was the team's best since winning 42 games back in 1991. Below is a quick look at the 40-win seasons in ISU history:
2012: 41-19, First Place MVC, NCAA At-Large Bid 1987: 45-18-1, NCAA At-Large Bid
1992: 40-19, Third Place MVC 1986: 48-21, MVC Tournament Champions
1991: 42-23, Third Place MVC 1985: 57-22, T-First Place MVC
1990: 43-21, Fourth Place MVC 1982: 40-20, First Place MVC East Division
1989: 48-21, MVC Tournament Champions 1979: 41-11, MVC Tournament Champions
Indiana State added 14 newcomers to the team this offseason, with five freshmen and nine transfers joining the Sycamore baseball program. Below is a quick look at the new faces on the Sycamore baseball roster.
No. Name Year Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown
4 Taylor Steen Fr. C 6-3 190 Grand Fork, N.D.
11 Hunter Owen Fr. INF 6-0 175 Evansville, Ind.
12 Jeff Smith Jr. C 6-0 190 Valparaiso, Ind.
17 Logan Willard Jr. RHP 6-2 210 Eagle Grove, Iowa
20 Taylor Shaw R-Sr. C 6-2 210 Pleasant View, Utah
22 Mike Fitzgerald Jr. OF 6-1 210 Rochester, Ill.
28 Cody Zimmerman Jr. INF 5-9 200 Newark, Calif.
30 Jeff Degano Jr. LHP 6-4 200 Surrey, British Columbia
31 A.J. McElderry Jr. LHP 6-2 210 Batavia, Iowa
32 Tony Rosselli Fr. OF 6-2 185 Terre Haute, Ind.
33 Daniel Peterson Jr. RHP 6-6 182 Lenexa, Kan.
36 Bobby Boynton Fr. RHP 6-1 215 Decatur, Ill.
37 Nick Martin Fr. RHP 6-0 205 Lake of the Hills, Ill.
38 Josh Dove Jr. RHP 6-2 235 Terre Haute, Ind.
On To The Next One...
ISU opens their home schedule next week, hosting Indiana on Wednesday, March 6.