Ninth Inning Rally Pushes Sycamores Past No. 24 Louisville, 3-1
By Tim McCaughan
Indiana State Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Indiana State scored three runs in the top of the ninth to secure a 3-1 series finale victory over No. 24 Louisville Sunday afternoon at Patterson Stadium.
The Sycamores (21-19) loaded the bases in the ninth after Hayden Jaco pinch hit and reached on a fielding error on a ball back to the mound. Clay Dungan drew a five-pitch walk and CJ Huntley reached first on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt.
After a strikeout to Dane Giesler, junior Jake Means came through with his first base hit if the day with a two-RBI single to left field. CJ Huntley would add the insurance the Sycamores needed a batter later when Louisville looked to turn a double play on a ground ball to first. CJ Huntley would make the move from second and score as the shortstop bobbled the ball at second, pushing the ISU lead to 3-1.
That would be all the scoring Indiana State would need as Tyler Grauer closed out the Louisville (29-14) ninth in order to secure his first win of the season after entering in the eighth.
Overshadowed was the performance of redshirt senior Weston Rivers. The southpaw made his fourth start of the season and allowed just one run in the first inning, two hits to go with a pair of strikeouts in the no decision. Rivers retired 17-of-18 Louisville batters from the second to the seventh inning. After a single up the middle in the first inning, ISU pitching would hold the Cardinals without a base hit until the seventh inning.
No Sycamore had more than a hit in the game. Means finished 1-for-4 with two RBI. Watkins earned an RBI in the ninth on a fielder’s choice. ISU outhit Louisville, 7-3 in the game.
After a leadoff walk for the Cardinals came around to score in the first inning of play, the Sycamores had several chances to knot the contest, including two bases-loaded situations in the second and third innings. ISU would leave the bases loaded both times and strand 12 total runners on base in the game while Louisville stranded just three.
Louisville starting pitcher Bobby Miller was strong in his outing, going seven complete innings, allowing five hits while striking out five. Adam Elliott was charged with the loss after the ninth inning rally, falling to 0-1.
Dane Tofteland (Grande Prairie, Alta.) doubled, while C Max Wright (Toronto, Ont.) singled.