NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Presbyterian College went where none of its baseball teams had ever gone, but the Blue Hose didn’t stay there long.
Indiana State stayed alive in the NCAA Nashville Regional by eliminating the Blue Hose, 9-2, Saturday afternoon at Vanderbilt University’s Hawkins Field.
“We’re glad to be where we are. We’re glad to be where we’ve never been before,” PC head coach Elton Pollock said, “We’ll keep our heads up. … The frustrations of the game … ultimately we’ll look back at what we’ve accomplished, not how it ended.”
Zach Frey (1-1), an unlikely hero, struck out the first two PC batters and induced a fly to right field from the third. In only his sixth career start, the redshirt senior then went the distance, allowing 5 hits, walking only 1 and striking out 10.
Shortstop Jordan Schaffer and right fielder Ellison Hanna II greeted Brandon Williams (2-2), the Blue Hose starter, with singles. Williams then walked Max Wright, the DH. First baseman Miguel Rivera doubled and the Sycamores had 2 runs before they had an out.
Rivera drove in 5 runs in the game.
Enter Kyle Benson on the hill for Presbyterian (22-23). After a walk, Benson’s wild pitch resulted in the next ISU run. A sacrifice fly to center produced the fourth. Zacchaeus Rasberry’s spectacular catch in left field prevented more.
Rasberry then singled to open the PC second, but DH Jeremiah Boyd grounded sharply into a 5-4-3 double play. First baseman Kyle Merkle flied out. Only three batted again.
With runners on second and third, and one out in the bottom half, Presbyterian head coach Elton Pollock Jr. dipped again into his bullpen, summoning Duncan Howard. Two more runs ensued. Indiana State sent 15 batters to the plate in the first two innings. The Blue Hose went down in order in the third, as did the Sycamores.
Right fielder Eric Toth put the Blue Hose on the board with a 2-run homer well beyond the Fenway-like wall in left field. PC had gone 12 innings without a run beforehand.
Breaking the drought didn’t stop the bleeding. Indiana State (31-20) added single runs in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings.
With one out in the fifth, third baseman Sean Klein singled and moved to second when Noah LeBron was hit by a Frey pitch. The runners moved up on Jake Wyandt’s grounder to first, but Kyle Decker lined out to right.