Sycamores Drop Opener with No. 16 Tennessee, 4-3
Credit Source: Indiana State University Athletics
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Indiana State baseball fell short during its series opener with No. 16 Tennessee, dropping Friday night’s contest, 4-3, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. ISU fell to 1-3 on the year while the Volunteers remain unbeaten at 6-0.
Max Wright led Indiana State at the plate with an RBI and a 2-for-4 outing while redshirt freshman Diego Gines hit his first home run of the season, finishing 1-for-4.
Redshirt junior Tristan Weaver made his season debut on the mound after battling back from an injury. Weaver tossed 4.1 innings while facing 24 batters. The left-hander struck out four but struggled with his control as he hit three batters, walked two and issued a pair of wild pitches. In total, the Auburn, Ill. native allowed just three runs on the night as he handed the ball to the bullpen tied at three in the fifth.
Tennessee jumped out to a lead in the first inning of action as they loaded the bases and scored a run on a wild pitch. ISU answered back in the top of the second as Gines blasted a home run to right field to tie the game. It marked the first home run of the season and the third of his ISU career.
Back and forth the two squads went as Jordan Beck put the Vols back in front with a solo homer in the third before Jake Rucker tallied his second hit of the day with an RBI single in the fourth to make it a 3-1 lead.
The Sycamores answered to tie the game in the fifth when Grant Magill opened the inning with a single. He later stole third and scored on a throwing error. Two batters later, Wright tallied his second hit of the day as he drove a ball to right field to score Jordan Schaffer from second.
Tennessee would get what would be the game-winning run in the sixth when Beck singled up the middle to score a runner from second.
Will Buraconak was charged with the loss for the Sycamores, falling to 0-1 on the season. The left-hander allowed just one run on two hits while retiring two Volunteers on strikeouts. Connor Fenlong continued his strong start to the season, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings while Zach Frey struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.
Four Volunteers recorded two base hits led by Beck who was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs. Chad Dallas went five complete in the start for UT, allowing nine hits and three earned runs while striking out nine Sycamores.
Sean Hunley improved to 2-0 on the season as he retired 11-straight Sycamores, including three on strikeouts as he finished the final four innings of the game.
Both teams will take the field for a doubleheader Saturday with the first contest slated for noon. Game two of the day is set for 3 p.m. or soon after the opening game concludes. Both games will air on SEC Network Plus via WatchESPN or a cable provider.