Fenlong Gains Second Victory As Indiana State Wins In 10th
NORMAL, Ill. – No. 23 Indiana State baseball scored eight unanswered runs to rally back from a 6-0 deficit Sunday afternoon at a rain-soaked Duffy Bass Field, defeating Illinois State 8-7 in 10 innings. With the victory, Indiana State took the weekend series, 3-1. Gouverneur's Connor Fenlong struck out two pitching the ninth and 10th innings lift his season's record to 2-0 to go along with four saves.
The 6-4 red shirt sophomore has pitched to a 0.51 striking 18 and walking two in 17.2 innings.
As steady rain fell throughout the game, Indiana State (16-8, 3-1 MVC) struggled at the plate notching just five hits during the first seven innings on ILS starting pitcher Sean Sinisko.
After ISU starting pitcher Javin Drake was removed from the game after just 1.1 innings, the Sycamores bullpen picked up the slack as right-hander Zach Frey tossed 4.1 innings of relief work, striking out four to keep ISU in striking distance.
Indiana State put up three runs in the eighth inning of action on back-to-back home runs to pull within two. Max Wright collected his second home run of the series with a two-run blast to right center to pull the Sycamores to within three runs before Fuentes picked up his third home run of the season on a ball over the wall in center. With the home runs, Illinois State was forced to the bullpen.
The comeback Sycamores were not finished though as head coach Mitch Hannahs got back-to-back solo home runs from pinch-hitters Miguel Rivera and Ellison Hanna II to open the ninth inning and tie the game at six runs.
Fenlong sent the teams to extras after working around a two-out walk in the ninth.
New this season to MVC games is the international tiebreaker rule, which puts the last batter from the previous inning on second base to begin extras.
Fuentes bunted Wright over to third to begin the tenth and the fifth-year senior would come home a batter later when Beck recorded his second hit of the day with a single up the middle. Rivera would add an insurance run that would in the end be the dagger for the Redbirds after he singled home Beck with a base hit to centerfield.
Illinois State brought home their seventh run of the day on a single to right after putting runners on the corners. The Sycamores would end the ILS threat though with a 4-6-3 double play to claim the series win.
Wright, Rivera, Fuentes and Hanna II each tallied home runs for ISU while Beck finished 2-fo-4 with a double and two RBI. Fuentes went 2-for-3 with a homer and a triple. Rivera and Wright added a pair of RBIs each. Nine of Indiana State's 13 base hits were extra-base hits.
After 24-straight games on the road to begin the season, Indiana State is set to make its home debut on Friday when Valparaiso comes to town for a four-game MVC series.