Frey, Prime of Order leads Sycamores dominantly previous Blue Hose | Indiana State Sports activities
When it comes to what went best for the Indiana State baseball team against the Presbyterian in the NCAA Nashville Regional on Saturday? There are two pretty good options.
Choice A is the first four places in the ISU’s stroke order combined to go 9 of 15 and score all but one of the ISU’s nine runs in the competition.
Choice B is just as good. Starting pitcher Zach Frey threw himself deeply into the competition and had by far his most impressive hill climb for the Sycamores. He set up an entire game, dropping 10, by far the best of his career for the senior.
Whichever choice you make, the goal is the same – a 9-2 win for ISU in an elimination game that will keep the Sycamores alive for at least another day at Vanderbilt’s Frank Hawkins Field.
ISU will play the loser of Georgia Tech-Vanderbilt on Saturday night at 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday. If the Sycamores survive, they’ll turn around and play against the winner of the Yellowjackets Commodore competition again on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT.
What if the Sycamores can make it through that gauntlet? They will play again in a rematch against Team ISU in the Sunday night game in a winner-take-all competition on Monday at 7 p.m. EDT to advance to the Super Regional against the Greenville Regional winner.
Frey’s dominance – he doubled his previous single game high in strikeouts and nearly doubled his longest outing, five of which were his previous highs – will be felt well beyond the game against Blue Hose. Frey’s full game means ISU’s pitchers – apart from starter Geremy Guerrero – are all available as ISU tries to win two games against two tough opponents on Sunday.
“Zach Frey has absolutely controlled the day for us. He rested the bullpen and gave us the opportunity to get deeper into this tournament,” said ISU coach Mitch Hannahs.
Hannah’s trust was placed in Frey at the beginning of May when the ISU had to change its starting order. Frey rose to second place in the rotation. Hannahs brought him there because he values his competitiveness and expects that fire to be felt on Saturday.
“Putting Zach into the rotation was just something to do with his mentality. We know what we’re going to achieve each time. We know he’s going to compete,” said Hannahs. “My thought is that he would give us seven strong ones. I really thought I was going to run. So you slip into a rotation. You have to find failures and get them out, and I knew Zach would do that today. “
Frey – remember, he had never crossed the fifth inning as Sycamore – was asked what he himself expects of his day.
“I play around with the guys that I’ll throw a perfect game every time. I get annoyed when I get a base hit, even if it’s a single with two outs. My mentality is not to let anyone reach me “Said Frey.
Frey also noted that the ISU offensive’s good start also played a big role in his confidence.
ISU (31-20) wasted no time in placing the Blue Hose (22-23) behind the 8 in the first ball. Jordan Schaffer, Ellison Hanna II and Max Wright loaded the bases before an out was recorded. Miguel Rivera made it with a double run double to the center right to get ISU on the board. The Sycamores scored more runs in the first game through a wild pitch and a Josue Urdaneta victim fly to get a 4-0 start.
“There’s Schaffer in the mix of everything. He and Ellison Hanna had great at-bats in both games. And then Max and Miggy step in. The top of the order had very good at-bats in both games,” said Hannes.
Schaffer and Hanna each had three hits. Schaffer has an 11 game active hitstreak in which he hit a sizzling .571 over the course of the streak.
“We had a difficult time with the top of their line-up. Every time we got to the top of that order, we knew they would make contact and we tried to minimize that,” said Presbyterian coach Elton Pollock.
In the second two more runs were achieved. Rivera again drove two runs with a single right to 6-0, the second straight game in which Presbyterian stared at a six-run deficit after two innings. Vanderbilt did the same on Friday night.
Rivera was right in the middle. He was 2 for 4 with five RBIs.
“I’ve seen the ball really well for the past two days. I got out of my style of play, chasing a few fields and thinking a little too much. Today I was just worried about not missing any fields and on the attacking side of the Game, “said Rivera.
From then on, Frey did the rest by keeping the blue tube under lock and key. Frey found himself faced with the minimum on his first drive through the assignment. The only time he showed vulnerability was when hot Eric Toth hit a mammoth two-run home run to the left in the fourth, but other than that, Frey only let more than two blue pants hit the base twice in a single inning.
“Jumping four runs really helped me. It gave me the mentality to just attack. Not going to anyone was my mentality. I just attacked and [had the approach] that it would take three singles to beat me, “said Frey.
ISU added single runs in the fourth over a Rivera single, the sixth when Wright made singles, and the eighth when Grant Magill slapped a victim right.
The Presbyterian game was an optimal scenario the Sycamores could conjure up. However, it will take the absolute best of the ISU to survive Sunday. Hannahs knows what he wants to see from his team.
“We’re in better shape pitching than I thought we could get out today. The bottom line is that at this point we have to make sure that we get aggressive if you’re in the losing group. You can’t catch” yourself hesitantly, “said Hannahs.
PRESBYTERIAN (AB-RH-RBI) – Decker cf 4-0-0-0, Fahr ss 3-1-1-0, Toth rf-p 4-1-2-2, Rasberry lf 4-0-1-0 , Boyd dh 3-0-0-0, Wetherington rf 1-0-0-0, Merkle 1b 3-0-0-0, Livingston ph 1-0-0-0, Klein 3b 3-0-1-0 , Lebron 2b 2-0-0-0, Shaw 2b 0-0-0-0, Wyandt c 3-0-0-0 TOTAL 31-2-5-2.
INDIANA STATE (AB-RH-RBI) – Schaffer ss 5-3-3-0, Hanna rf 4-3-3-0, Wright dh 2-1-1-1, Rivera 1b 4-1-2-5, Magill c 3-0-0-1, Cusumano 3b 5-0-0-0, Urdaneta 2b 3-0-1-1, Beck lf 4-0-1-0, Ross cf 3-1-0-0. TOTAL 33-9-11-8.
Presbyterians = 000 = 200 = 000 = – = 2
State of Indiana = 420 = 101 = 01X = – = 9
E – Shaw (8). DP – ISU 1. LOB – PC 4, ISU 9. 2B – Schaffer (9), Hanna (7), Rivera (12), Beck (10). HR – Toth (9). SF – Rivera (3), Magill (1), Urdaneta (1). SB – Wright (4).
Presbyterians = IP = H = R = ER = BB = SO
Williams (L, 2-2) = 0 = 3 = 4 = 4 = 1 = 0
Benson = 1 1/3 = 1 = 2 = 2 = 1 = 2
Howard = 2 2/3 = 3 = 1 = 1 = 1 = 1
Veach = 3 = 4 = 1 = 1 = 0 = 3
Toth = 1 = 0 = 1 = 0 = 2 = 0
State of Indiana = IP = H = R = ER = BB = SO
Frey (W, 1-1) = 9 = 5 = 2 = 2 = 1 = 10
HBP – ex Benson (Ross); by Frey (Lebron). WP – Benson (4), Howard (2). T – 2:40.
Next up – ISU (31-20) will play the loser in the Georgia Tech Vanderbilt Contest on Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT. Presbyterians finished 22-23.