April 13, 2018
By Tim McCaughan
Indiana State Athletics
Sycamores Take Series Opener with Illinois State, 5-2
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State opened its weekend with a 5-2 win over Illinois State Friday night at Bob Warn Field. The Sycamores notched 13 hits in the win -- the most since the squad went for 14 hits March 16 at The Citadel.
Hayden Jaco and Jarrod Watkins each tallied a team high three base hits while CJ Huntley added two of his own. Chris Ayers also launched his first home run of the season in a pinch hit at bat in the sixth inning.
The Sycamores (17-11, 3-4 MVC) jumped out to a lead in the second after Luke Fegen beat out an infield single to shortstop. He would come around to score on a Jarrod Watkins single out to left. ISU would tack on two more runs in the fourth inning to extend their lead.
Roberto Enriquez led off the frame with a walk before Hayden Jaco doubled down the line in left to drive in a run. It was one of Jaco’s two RBI on the night. After the Sycamores elected to move Jaco to third on a sacrifice bunt, CJ Huntley came through with an infield single off the glove of Redbird pitcher Brent Headrick that scored Jaco from third.
Insurance would come for the Trees in the fifth and sixth innings. Jaco drove in his second runner of the night with a single through the left side, scoring Jake Means who doubled to open the frame. Ayers picked up a solo home run in the sixth to center to push the Sycamore lead to 5-2 and the rest was academic.
Right-hander Tyler Ward secured the win on the mound, improving to 5-3 on the season. He allowed two runs on what looked to be a routine fly ball to left, but was lost in the sky, falling on the warning track. Two runs would score on the play, but the pinch hitter would be gunned down at home looking for the inside-the-park home run.
Ward retired five via strikeouts in his seven-inning outing before Ethan Larrison would enter to pick up his eighth save of the season. The Shelbyville, Indiana native allowed just one hit in two innings.
Headrick (1-5) would be charged with the loss after allowing four earned runs on nine hits in five innings.
Owen Miller and Jack Butler each tallied two hits for the Redbirds (12-17, 2-5 MVC).
The Sycamores outhit Illinois State 13-8 in the game, but stranded 12 runners on base in the game.