March 23, 2018
Sycamores Walk Off in Nightcap to Sweep Doubleheader with Xavier
By Tim McCaughan
Team 123 456 789 R H E
Xavier 000 201 001 --- 4 6 1
Indiana State 000 040 20X --- 6 10 3
W: Tyler Ward (4-1) L: RICHARD,Damien (0-4) S: Ethan Larrison (7)
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Indiana State baseball extended its winning streak to nine games Friday afternoon at Bob Warn Field during a doubleheader sweep of Xavier. The Sycamores picked up a 6-4 win in the opening game of the series before walking off the Musketeers in the nightcap, 4-3.
The Sycamores improved to 14-5 on the season while Xavier fell to 7-15.
Game One - Indiana State 6, Xavier 4
Indiana State rallied back from a two-run deficit in game one, scoring four runs in the fifth inning to claim the series opener over Xavier, 6-4. Clay Dungan’s two-RBI single in the fifth would tie the game before redshirt senior Dane Giesler would put the Sycamores ahead for good with a two-RBI single to right field.
The Sycamores would add a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly from Dungan before CJ Huntley singled off the pitcher to drive in one more run to make it 6-3.
Xavier’s Matt Warkentin blasted a solo home run in the ninth inning, but it was not enough as Ethan Larrison would close out the game for his seventh save of the season -- striking out three batters in two complete innings of work.
Junior right-hander Tyler Ward was strong in his fifth start of the season, as he allowed just four hits in seven innings of work. The Santa Claus, Indiana product struck out five as he moved to 4-1 on the year.
CJ Huntley finished 3-for-4 with and RBI and a run scored while Jarrod Watkins and Dane Giesler each tallied a pair of base hits.
Damien Richard was tagged for the loss, falling to 0-4 on the season. He struck out two batters in four innings while allowing four hits.
Game Two - Indiana State 4, Xavier 3
Team 123 456 789 R H E
Xavier 002 000 001 --- 3 10 0
Indiana State 100 000 003 --- 4 6 1
W:Tyler Whitbread (2-1) L:GRAMMES (0-2)
Hunter Lewis scored the game-winner on a wild pitch to secure the Sycamores’ ninth-straight win, but it was the clutch batting from CJ Huntley and Max Wright that gave the Trees the opportunity to win the game.
Indiana State entered the bottom of the ninth, trailing 3-1 after Xavier added an insurance run in the top half of the frame. Chris Ayers reached base in the ninth after being hit by a pitch with one out before Huntley doubled to right-center a batter later to send the go-ahead run to the plate in Lewis.
Sophomore catcher Max Wright would drive in the game-tying runs on a first-pitch single up the middle, scoring both Ayers and Huntley while Lewis moved from first to third on the play. Lewis would come home the very next play on a wild pitch that got away from XU’s Nate Soria to the backstop.
Triston Polley went five and a third innings, allowing just two earned runs in the no-decision. Donnie Ames retired eight-straight batters in relief, striking out two in three innings. Tyler Whitbread would pick up the win out of the bullpen after entering with two outs in the top half of the ninth. The right-hander moves to 2-1 on the season.
Max Wright would be the lone Sycamore to record multiple hits in game two as Xavier held the Sycamores to just six hits in the nightcap.
Two-way player Conor Grammes was charged with the loss, falling to 0-2. The designated hitter was 1-for-4 at the plate, scoring one run for the Musketeers. Xavier starting pitcher Matt Kent struck out six in seven complete innings.
The teams will look to wrap up the three-game set Sunday at 1 p.m. at Bob Warn Field. Fans can listen to the call via GoSycamores.com/Watch with Luke Martin and Brian Fritz on the call as well as watch via The Valley On ESPN3.
For the latest information on the Sycamore Baseball team, be sure to visit GoSycamores.com. You can also find the team on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.