Sycamore Baseball Opens 2021 with Pittsburgh at Snowbird Baseball Classic
Credit Source: Indiana State University Athletics
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State baseball will begin its 2021 campaign on Friday as the Sycamores open a three-games series with Pittsburgh as part of the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Both Friday and Saturday games are slated for a 2 p.m. start while the series finale is scheduled to begin at noon. All three games will be streamed via FloBaseball while live stats will be available throughout the series. Fans can follow @IndStBaseball throughout the series for live updates on Twitter.
NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY
» Probable starting rotations have not been announced at the time of release.
» The Sycamores are 0-1 all-time against Pitt with the lone meeting coming in 2020 at the Snowbird Baseball Classic. The Panthers defeated Indiana State 11-1 in the season opener.
» This weekend’s series kicks off a stretch of 24 consecutive road games for Indiana State, who also play Tennessee (February 26-28), Florida International (March 5-7), Florida Gulf Coast (March 9), Florida Atlantic (March 11-13), UAB (March 19-21) and Saint Louis (April 1-3) for non-conference action. The Sycamores will also travel to Normal for a four-game MVC series with Illinois State (April 9-11) before playing its first home games on April 16-18 against Valparaiso.
» Indiana State is coming off an 8-6 2020 campaign in which the Sycamores came away with a weekend sweep of Elon and a series win over Kansas before COVID-19 canceled the season.
» Indiana State secured its 12th-straight winning season in 2020 while also finishing in the top-100 in RPI for eighth-straight year.
» Indiana State returns eight position starters and nine key pitchers from its 2020 team that finished 8-6 before the season was canceled due to COVID-19. Returning for the Sycamores after starting all 14 games and leading the team in average is infielder Jordan Schaffer (.339, 19 H, 6 RBI). Utility man Dominic Cusumano also returns for the Sycamores after hitting .318 with 14 base hits and a .400 on-base percentage.
» The Sycamores return nearly all their arms on the mound from a year ago apart from 2019 MVC Newcomer of the Year Collin Liberatore. Tristan Weaver (LHP), Connor Cline (RHP) and Cam Edmonson (LHP) return after combining for nine starts last season. ISU’s bullpen returns several key pieces including LHP Tyler Grauer.
» Redshirt senior Tyler Grauer has earned several preseason accolades coming into 2021. He has been named a First Team Preseason All-American by the NCBWA and a Third Team Preseason All-American by D1Baseball.com. Grauer earned Preseason All-MVC accolades by a vote of league coaches and is rated the 6th-best reliever in college baseball and the 18th-best draft prospect in the MVC according to D1Baseball.com. Grauer, a Shawnee, Kan. native, appeared in seven games out of the bullpen during the 2020 season and recorded a team-best five saves. The lefty finished the year with a 1.59 ERA over 11.1 innings with an 0-1 record. One of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the nation, Grauer sat down 23 batters on strikeouts while issuing just one walk on the year. He held the opposition to a .239 average against. In 2019, he had a 1.91 ERA with a 48-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 37.2 innings.
» Starting pitcher Tristan Weaver joined Grauer on the Preseason All-MVC squad. Weaver finished the abbreviated 2020 season with a 1-1 record on the mound and a 1.85 ERA in four starts. The left-hander struck out 34 batters and walked just eight while holding opponents to a .100 average against in 24.1 innings. Weaver is rated the 39th-best starting pitcher in the nation and the 10th-best draft prospect in the MVC according to D1Baseball.com