Fenlong Dominant In Indiana State Mound Debut
BY DAVE SHEA
Former Gouverneur standout Connor Fenlong made an immediate impact in his first appearance as a pitcher for Indiana State University. The 6-4, 220-pound red shirt sophomore rendered a dominant debut for the Syacamores combining with starter Geremy Guerrero in a season-opening 4-0 victory over Pittsburgh at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Thursday.
Fenlong entered game with one out in the sixth and was dominant throughout striking out five and allowing just hits in recording an extended save in pitching 3 2/3 innings.
Fenlong is a 2018 graduate of Gouverneur Central School where he earned all-star honors in baseball, football and basketball. He transferred after two seasons with national junior college power Wabash Valley Community College in Mount Carmell, Il.
Last season he compiled a 1.50 ERA with eight strikeouts against two walks in six appearances for Wabash Valley which stood at 17-2 when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down college sports across the country.
"His fastball topped out at 95mph according to the ISU radar. He had great command of four pitches today. Fastball, Changeup, Curve and Slider. His stuff was impressive today," said Joe Wahl who coached Fenlong at Gouverneur Central.
The following is a story on the game which is posted the Indiana State Athletics website.
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Indiana State baseball opened the 2021 season with a shutout victory over Pittsburgh, 4-0, at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. Geremy Guerrero and Connor Fenlong combined for the shutout on the mound while Jordan Schaffer led all batters with four hits.
Guerrero went a career-long 5.1 innings in the start, finishing just one strikeout shy of tying a career-high with six on the day. He allowed the Panthers just three base hits in the outing but never allowed more than one baserunner in an inning en route to his first win of the season.
The Sycamores (1-0) did not waste any time as Schaffer led off the game with a single up the middle and Max Wright blasted the first home run of the 2021 collegiate season with a two-run shot to right field to give ISU an early advantage.
A newcomer to the Sycamores this season -- Nebraska transfer Keegan Watson would add to the Indiana State lead in the first after singling up the middle to score Brian Fuentes to make it a 3-0 lead before Guerrero had even stepped foot on the mound.
Guerrero, a lefty from Metamora, Ill., worked around a two-out double before ISU was able to strike again in the top of the second.
Schaffer picked up where he left off with a leadoff single off the back of Pitt pitcher Mitch Myers before moving into scoring position with a steal. The West Vigo High School product came around to score when Fuentes singled down the line in left field to make it a 4-0 game.
Fenlong entered with an out on the scoreboard in the sixth and was dominant throughout in his Sycamore debut. The Wabash Valley transfer struck out five and allowed just two base hits in the extended save.
Myer (0-1) was charged with the loss following his five-inning outing. The right-hander struck out nine but allowed eight hits and four earned runs. Kyle Hess and Riley Wash each recorded a pair of hits to lead the Panthers.
Indiana State and Pitt will return to action Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will air on FloBaseball. Live stats and Twitter updates will also be available.
INDIANA STATE NOTES ILLUSTRIOUS BASEBALL HISTORY
ISU head coach Mitch Hannahs enters his eighth season at the helm of the Sycamores. He holds a 209-139 overall record as is coming off a 43-win campaign in 2019. Hannahs, who is one of the most decorated student-athletes in program history, entered the Indiana State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 and has been a part of six of the programs 10 trips to the NCAA Postseason Tournament as a player or coach (‘86, ‘87, ‘89, ‘95, ‘14, ‘19).
Since taking over the program in 2013, Hannahs has led the Sycamores to over 200 wins, a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and five top-3 finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference. He sits second all-time in career wins behind legendary head coach and ISU Hall of Famer Bob Warn who guided the program to 1,070 wins from 1976-2006.
Indiana State baseball was picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll, as determined by a vote of the League’s head coaches.
Sycamore Alum and Oakland Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea no-hit the Boston Red Sox April 21, 2018. It marked the first ho-hitter of the 2018 MLB season and the seventh in Oakland Athletics history. Manaea became the first MVC pitcher to record a no-hitter in the MLB since Dave Stieb of SIU did so in 1990 against the Cleveland Indians as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Legendary Sycamore and NBA great Larry Bird suited up for the Indiana State baseball team April 28 of 1979. Bird finished .500 with a pair of RBIs.