- The third-seeded Indiana State baseball team rallied in the sixth inning to
tie the game, but No. 2 Cal State Fullerton scored four unanswered runs en
route to a 9-5 victory in the opening round of the Eugene Regional in the NCAA
Cal State Fullerton (36-19) jumped out to an early three-run lead, taking advantage of three walks and two errors in the first two innings by ISU.
Indiana State (41-18) got on the scoreboard in the third inning, as senior Ryan Walterhouse led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Redshirt junior Koby Kraemer brought him home when he came up next, sending a single through the middle of the infield. The Titans came right back with two runs of their own in the third, pushing the CSF lead to 5-1 after three innings.
ISU loaded the bases with no outs in the following inning, as senior Kyle Burnam and junior Jeremy Lucas drew back-to-back walks, before junior Rob Ort singled through the left side of the infield. The Sycamores were only able to squeeze one run out of the inning, however, as senior Jon Hedges grounded into a double play to bring Burnam across the plate.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Pazik kept ISU within striking distance in the middle innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced from the third to the fifth. The only batter that Pazik did not retire, he picked off in the fourth.
The Sycamores rallied and tied the score in the sixth inning, as Burnam (double) and Lucas (single) put runners on the corners with one out. On a hit-and-run play, Ort grounded out to second to bring Burnam home from third. Hedges made it a one-run game with a two-out single up the middle, as Lucas scored from second. Senior Lucas Hileman followed and laced a pitch down the right field line, giving Hedges just enough time to hustle all the way around the bases and score on a head-first slide to tie the game at 5-5.
The Titans came right back in the bottom half of the sixth inning, putting their first two batters before getting a one-out sacrifice fly to center by Ivory Thomas.
Indiana State would only get one hit off of CSF reliever Koby Gauna, a two-out double by Burnam in the eighth, and Cal State Fullerton added three insurance runs in the ninth to pick up the opening round victory, 9-5.
Cal State Fullerton roughed up ISU starter Dakota Bacus, who turned in his shortest start of the season. Bacus allowed five runs on five hits with four walks in 2.2 innings. The ISU junior did break the single-season innings pitched record on Friday, pushing his total to 116.2 on the season. Mike Farrell had held the school record since 1991 with his 115.2 innings during that season.
Ort led ISU with a pair of hits on Friday. Four Sycamores (Ort, Hedges, Hileman and Kraemer) picked up RBIs. Thomas led the Titans, going 1-for-1 with two runs scored and three runs batted in.
Indiana State will return to the field at PK Park on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET. The Sycamores will face the loser of No. 1 Oregon and No. 4 Austin Peay.