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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Sycamores Host Braves In Final Non-MVC Series
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

The Indiana State baseball team continues their eight-game homestand to close the 2013 regular season this weekend, welcoming the Alcorn State Braves to Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.

All three games can be seen live for free through SycamoreVision on GoSycamores.com with live statistics also available on GoSycamores.com. Follow @IndStBaseball on Twitter for live updates through the weekend.

Indiana State (18-22) closes out the regular season at home next week, hosting Ball State on Tuesday and Bradley on Thursday through Saturday. The 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in Normal, Ill., begins on Tuesday, May 21.

Weekend Schedule
Friday: 6:30 p.m. – Terre Haute Rex season ticket holders are invited to Bob Warn Field

Saturday: 2:00 p.m. – Family Day, buy two adult tickets and get the next two free
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – Indiana State honors the 1985 baseball team that won the Indiana NAIA State Championship

Probable Weekend Indiana State Pitching Rotation
Friday: Sean Manaea (Jr. -- LHP -- 6-5 -- 235 -- Wanatah, Ind. -- Andrean HS)

Notes: Tied for fourth in ISU history with 274 career Ks ... at least eight Ks in seven of his 10 starts
2013 Season Stats: 5-4 record ... 1.61 ERA ... 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R , 5 Ks vs. Evansville last Saturday (L)
Saturday: Devin Moore (Sr. -- RHP -- 6-3 -- 210 -- Springfield, Ill. -- Lincoln Land CC)

Notes: 33 hits allowed in his last 45.2 IP ... ISU has scored one run or less in five of his seven starts
2013 Season Stats: 3-4 record ... 2.95 ERA ... 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 4 Ks vs. Evansville last Friday (ND)
Sunday: TBA

A Little History -- Alcorn State
This weekend’s series will be the first meetings between Indiana State and Alcorn State. The Sycamores have played two current members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, taking three games from Alabama A&M over the past two seasons and three games from Texas Southern to open the 2010 season in Shreveport, La. Alcorn State University is located in Lorman, Mississippi, 80 miles southwest of Jackson in southwest Mississippi. Under fourth-year head coach Rick Heller, ISU is 6-0 against current members of SWAC.

Scouting The Braves
Alcorn State enters the weekend at 15-36 on the season including a 14-10 mark in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, good for third place in the Eastern Division. The Braves have won three straight games, including a SWAC series victory against Alabama A&M last weekend before topping Grambling State on Tuesday, 16-14. Junior Angel Rosa leads the team with a .298 (42-for-141) batting average while freshman Ashton Lewis has hit three home runs. Senior Alvin Jackson tops the roster with 10 doubles and 17 stolen bases. The Braves have made 105 errors in 51 games while their pitching rotation carries a 7.08 team ERA.

Game-by-Game – SWAC
Below is a quick look at the six games Indiana State has played against the SWAC.

Feb. 13, 2013 at Alabama A&M -- W, 12-5                 Feb. 20, 2010 vs. Texas Southern -- W, 8-4
Feb. 26, 2012 at Alabama A&M -- W, 7-0                   Feb. 20, 2010 vs. Texas Southern -- W, 17-6
Feb. 25, 2012 at Alabama A&M -- W, 12-0                 Feb. 19, 2010 vs. Texas Southern -- W, 15-6

Game-by-Game -- Last 10 At Home
Below is a quick look at the last 10 games Indiana State has played at Bob Warn Field.

May 8, 2013 vs. Eastern Illinois -- L, 3-5                    April 14, 2013 vs. #30 Creighton -- W, 5-3
May 4, 2013 vs. Evansville -- L, 1-3                           April 13, 2013 vs. #30 Creighton -- W, 5-4
May 3, 2013 vs. Evansville -- L, 4-6 (13)                    April 12, 2013 vs. #30 Creighton -- W, 6-1
May 1, 2013 vs. DePauw -- W, 7-0                            April 9, 2013 vs. Purdue -- W, 10-5
April 17, 2013 vs. SIUE -- L, 3-6                                March 27, 2013 vs. UIC -- L, 2-6

At Home Under Head Coach Rick Heller
Under head coach Rick Heller, Indiana State is 62-28 (.689) in home games since the start of the 2010 season. In MVC action, the Sycamores are 21-17 (.553) in Terre Haute. This season, Indiana State is 11-6 at home and 6-2 within the conference at Bob Warn Field.

Manaea Tabbed On 60-Man Golden Spikes Award Watch List
Junior Sean Manaea was named to the Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List this week, 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 60 student-athletes from around the nation to earn selection to the list and one of 31 that appeared on both the preseason and midseason lists.

Manaea has posted a 5-4 record and a 1.61 ERA this season, fanning 77 batters in 61.1 innings on the mound while allowing just 41 hits, 24 walks and 11 earned runs in 10 starts. The ISU junior has struck out at least eight batters in seven of his 10 outings, including a season-high of 10 Ks in six shutout innings against College of Charleston on Feb. 22. Manaea enters the weekend with 274 career strikeouts and tied with current St. Louis Cardinals bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley (1983-85) for fourth in Indiana State history.

Manaea Named To CBHOF National Pitcher Of The Year Watch List
Junior starting pitcher Sean Manaea was one of 41 pitchers from around the nation named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List by the College Baseball Hall of Fame. The CBHOF Pitcher of the Year award is college baseball’s version of the Cy Young Award and is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate pitcher. Manaea joins Missouri State’s Nick Petree in representing the Missouri Valley Conference for the award.

Manaea Ranks Fourth In ISU History In Strikeouts
Junior Sean Manaea struck out five batters on May 4 against Evansville, 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. The Sycamore southpaw enters the weekend with 77 strikeouts and an average of 11.3 per nine innings, good for seventh in the nation. Below is a quick look at the Top 10 in career strikeouts at Indiana State.

1. Casey Whitten (1991-93) – 299                             6. Mitch Stetter (2000-03) – 254
2. Mike Gardiner (1984-87) – 296                              7. Mike Farrell (1988-91) – 248
3. Brad Finken (1994-97) – 275                                 T8. John Howes (1982-86) – 217
T4. Sean Manaea (2011-present) – 274              T8. Tom Browning (1993-96) – 217
T4. Blaise Ilsley (1983-85) – 274                               10. Paul Quizner (1983-86) – 214

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

Ort Stands Alone In Program History
Senior Robby Ort ranks third in career runs batted in (187) and fourth in career hits (260) at Indiana State, becoming the first Sycamore in program history to rank in the top five in both categories. The Newburgh, Ind., native is a two-time First Team All-MVC selection and holds a career .313 batting average with 14 triples, 24 home runs and 27 stolen bases.

Productive At The Plate: Part I
Senior Robby Ort enters the weekend with 187 career RBIs at the plate, ranking third in program history at Indiana State. Below is quick look at the Top 10 for RBIs in school history.

1. Boi Rodriguez (1985-87) – 200                              6. Mike Eberle (1984-87) – 174
2. Chad McDonald (1988-90) – 198                            7. Bob Zeihen (1985-88) – 159
3. Robby Ort (2010-present) – 187                     8. Mike Lexa (1984-86) – 154
4. Dan Frye (1989-92) – 186                                     9. Dan Olson (1994-96) – 153
5. John LaMar (1989-92) – 175                                 10. Kevin Egli (2000-03) – 151

Productive At The Plate: Part II
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 Castle High School product 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. Ort enters the weekend with a team-leading 30 runs batted in in 2013.

Steady At Short
Junior Tyler Wampler has been a mainstay on defense for the Sycamores, starting 133 games at shortstop over his three seasons. Wampler has tallied 435 fielding assists (140 as a freshman in 2011, 184 as a sophomore in 2012, 111 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. Wampler enters the weekend with a career fielding percentage of .963 (25 errors in 150 games).

Off And Running
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 has been active on the bases again in 2013, ranking in a tie for third in the conference with 18 stolen bases this season. For his career, Curry is 34-for-41 in stolen base attempts.

Manaea, Moore Combine For Three MVC Pitcher Of The Week Awards
Junior Sean Manaea and senior Devin Moore have combined for three MVC Pitcher of the Week awards, highlighting a pitching staff that carries a 3.68 ERA this season. Manaea was selected on Feb. 22 following his six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts against College of Charleston and on March 18 after fanning nine batters in a six-hitter at Minnesota. Moore earned the award on March 25 following his outing against Southern Illinois where he allowed just two hits over nine shutout innings in ISU’s 1-0 win in 11 innings.

Three Sycamores Earn MVC Scholar-Athlete Of The Week Awards
Redshirt senior Koby Kraemer (April 10 / April 17), senior Devin Moore (March 27) and sophomore Landon Curry (March 20 / April 24) have all been named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week this season. After the fall semester, the baseball team led all men’s athletic teams at Indiana State with a combined 3.42 grade point average.

All About Defense: Part I
The Sycamores ranked 18th in the country in fielding percentage heading into the week, as the Sycamores check in with a .976 fielding percentage. Under head coach Rick Heller, Indiana State is 59-22 (.728) when they do not make an error in a game, including a 10-7 record this season. When the Sycamores have made a fielding miscue in Heller’s four seasons, the team sits just below the .500 mark at 64-66.

All About Defense: Part II
Indiana State has ranked in the Top 35 in fielding percentage from 2010-12 under head coach Rick Heller, one of only nine teams in the nation to do so over each of the previous three seasons. Three of the nine from around the nation are from the Missouri Valley Conference, as Evansville and Creighton are also in the select group. CU (12th) and ISU (18th) are both in the Top 35 in fielding percentage this season.

Allowing Big Innings
Under head coach Rick Heller, the Sycamores are 81-28 (.743) 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 42-60 (.412) record.

Getting To The Seventh
Under head coach Rick Heller, ISU is 91-14 (.867) in games that they hold a lead heading into the seventh inning. When the Sycamores have trailed after the sixth inning, ISU is 18-65 (.217). This season, Indiana State is 14-0 when leading after six innings of play.

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 72-13 (.847) over the past four seasons. When opponents score four runs or more, ISU holds a 50-75 (.400) record.

Kraemer’s Grand Slam Highlights Series Win At Minnesota
Redshirt senior Koby Kraemer hit a grand slam in the sixth inning inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, sending the Sycamores to a 9-4 win in the rubber match on Sunday, March 17. Indiana State earned a 2-1 victory on Friday night against the Golden Gophers as junior Sean Manaea pitched his first complete game at Indiana State with nine strikeouts and made a game-saving tag at home plate to end the game. Kraemer’s grand slam against the Golden Gophers was the first for the Sycamores since Landon Curry cleared the bases against Ball State last season on March 28.

Scoring First
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. Indiana State 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 ISU is 14-7 when scoring first and 7-5 when scoring in the first inning.

4-2 Against The Big Ten Conference This Season
Indiana State is 4-2 against the Big Ten Conference this season with five of those six games coming on the road. The Sycamores took two out of three games inside the Metrodome against Minnesota in mid-March before sweeping a home-and-home midweek series with Purdue over a six-day span in early April. Indiana State closed out their B1G schedule on April 24, falling 8-1 on the road at No. 17 Indiana.

Nationally-Ranked Opponents
Indiana State is 4-2 against nationally-ranked opponents this season, sweeping three games from No. 30 Creighton and splitting a pair of games with No. 28 Mercer.

Close Games
In ISU’s four seasons under head coach Rick Heller, the Sycamores are 69-57 (.548) in games decided by three runs or less. In games decided by four or more runs since 2010, the Sycamores carry a 54-30 (.643) record. This season, ISU is 9-14 in close games.

Winning Ways
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. During Indiana State’s 17-year run from 1977 to 1993, the Sycamores posted a 675-354-7 record and made six NCAA appearances.

Seven Former Sycamores In The Show Or Triple-A
Led by shortstop Clint Barmes (Pittsburgh Pirates), left-handed pitcher Joe Thatcher (San Diego Padres) and right-handed pitcher Brian Omogrosso (Chicago White Sox), seven former Sycamores are currently either in Triple-A or on Major League Baseball rosters. Former Sycamore pitcher Blaise Ilsley is also working in the Majors, serving as the bullpen coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. Since 2009, 14 members of the Indiana State baseball team have been drafted or signed as a free agent with MLB teams.

Weather Problems In 2013
The Sycamores have lost nine games this season due to poor spring weather. Included in those nine games have been two entire weekends that have been cancelled, March 1-3 at Eastern Kentucky and April 26-28 at UT Martin. Below is a quick look at Indiana State’s problems with Mother Nature this season.

February 27 – game cancelled at Austin Peay, rescheduled to March 12
March 1-3 – weekend cancelled at Eastern Kentucky
March 6 – game cancelled vs. Indiana
March 9-10 – team removes snow from the field on Thursday and Friday, Sunday’s games moved to Saturday for tripleheader with South Dakota State and Mercer
March 19 – game vs. Austin Peay moved up from March 20 to avoid freezing temperatures
April 16 – game cancelled vs. Butler
April 26-28 – weekend cancelled at UT Martin
May 4  ISU and UE play through steady rain before game is postponed in the seventh
May 5  ISU and UE return on Sunday to finish game two, game three is cancelled

On To The Next One...
The Sycamores play their final four regular season games next week, with all four game taking place in Terre Haute. Indiana State hosts in-state rival Ball State on Tuesday before closing out Missouri Valley Conference play against the Bradley Braves on Thursday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18.

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