- The 2012 Indiana State baseball season came to an end on Saturday, as the
third-seeded Sycamores fell to the No. 4 Austin Peay Governors by a score of
1-0 from PK Park on the campus of the University of Oregon in the NCAA Tournament Regional in Eugene, Ore.
The Indiana State baseball team set numerous program records during the season, returning the postseason for the first time since 1995 after capturing the program's first outright regular season Missouri Valley Conference championship.
Indiana State (41-19) had a prime chance to score a first-inning run as freshman Landon Curry led off the game with a single to the third baseman before heading to second on an errant throw. Senior Kyle Burnam moved Curry to third with one out, but junior Jeremy Lucas hit a sharp grounder to second base against a drawn-in infield and Curry was caught in a rundown. Curry stayed in the rundown long enough that Lucas was able to circle the bases and end up a third with two outs. Junior Rob Ort came up next and hit a line drive into the left-center field gap, but APSU's left fielder Cody Hudson made an outstanding diving catch in the gap to take away a run.
ISU had another chance in the third inning as Curry, Burnam and Lucas loaded the bases with two outs. Ort came to plate for the Sycamores, but was called out on strikes on a check-swing.
Austin Peay (39-23) plated the game's only run in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Rolando Gautier hit a one-out bases-loaded single to left. The inning could have been much worse for ISU, but sophomore Sean Manaea caught Tyler Childress looking before picking off Gautier at first base to end the inning.
Manaea pitched 7.1 strong innings on the mound, allowing seven hits and one run while striking out nine batters and picking three off on the bases. The sophomore southpaw ends the season with 115 strikeouts, tying with Brad Finken (1997) for the third-best single-season total in school history. Manaea also finished the season with seven official pickoffs, while runners combined to go just 2-for-9 in stolen base attempts as well.
APSU's starting pitcher Andy Cox settled in after the first three innings, allowing just one hit until he exited the game following the seventh inning. Cox received a spectacular defensive play behind him in the fourth inning, as senior Ryan Walterhouse sent a pitch high and deep into gap in the left-center gap, but centerfielder Michael Blanchard scaled the wall and brought back a home run.
Indiana State's defense also played well, as Walterhouse and senior Jon Hedges made back-to-back highlight catches in the fifth inning. With runners on second and third and two outs in the sixth inning, redshirt junior Koby Kraemer kept ISU within one run with a diving catch on a line-drive to right field.
Curry led the Sycamores with three hits and two stolen bases on Saturday.