Sycamores Picked Fourth in Preseason Poll; Grauer and Weaver Earn Preseason All-MVC Honors
Credit Source: Indiana State University Athletics
SAINT LOUIS – Indiana State baseball has been picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll, the League announced Wednesday. Pitchers Tristan Weaver (SP) and Tyler Grauer (RP) earned Preseason All-MVC.
The poll and preseason honors are determined by a vote from each head coach.
Dallas Baptist tallied 64 points and were named the favorite over second-place pick Illinois State (53 points). Missouri State (42 points) finished third, while Indiana State finished fourth with 37 points. Bradley was selected in fifth place with 31 points, followed by Southern Illinois (27 points) in the sixth slot, Evansville (21 points) in the seventh slot and Valparaiso eighth (9 points).
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.
Grauer was dominant in his reliever role for the Trees, racking up five saves in seven appearances. The left-hander struck out 23 and walked only one batter in 11.1 innings. He allowed just two earned runs and finished the year with a 1.59 ERA.
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 Jake Ridgway, Zach Frey and Geremy Guerrero.
Indiana State travels to Port Charlotte, Fla. for the Snowbird Classic beginning Feb. 19. The Sycamores will play a three-game series with Pittsburgh starting Friday at noon.