June 2, 2012

CBI Live: #1 Oregon 7, #2 Cal State Fullerton 5

Around the Regionals

Regional Capsules

Regional Scores & Schedules


Governors edge Sycamores to stay alive in Eugene

By Taylor Gelbrich



EUGENE, Ore. – It was a battle of teams which fell short in their first games because of miscues and Austin Peay was able to maximize on Indiana State's mistakes for a 1-0 victory to move on in the Eugene Regional.


It was a tightly-contested game in which the starting pitchers for both squads kept their respective opponent at bay. The game was much like the weather, a constant back-and-forth game like the constant back and forth of sunny to cloudy and windy.


The game had a total of 12 hits and just one run, but there were plenty more opportunities than the score suggests.


Indiana State's first inning foreshadowed the rest of the game for them.


Landon Curry led off the game with a base hit and ISU was already in scoring position after Curry took second on a throwing error. Kyle Burnam moved Curry to third on a sacrifice bunt and the Sycamores (41-19) looked to take the lead with their best hitter at the plate.


Curry took off for home on Jeremy Lucas's ground ball to the second baseman, but got caught in a rundown and stayed in it long enough for Lucas to get to third. The threat ended when Rob Ort lined out to left field to conclude the inning.


Curry finished the game going 3 for 4, which was more than half of ISU's total hits.


Indiana State never quite threatened again for the rest of the game, but did manage to get runners on throughout the contest. The big hit just never came for the Sycamores.


"We pitched well, our defense picked us up a lot with great plays," said ISU right fielder, Ryan Walterhouse. "We just couldn't get our bats going when we needed to, just balls weren't falling. We were hitting them hard and we couldn't get a spot for them to fall."


ISU's Sean Manaea (5-3) took the loss and gave up only one run on seven hits in 7.1 innings. Manaea was effectively wild, keeping the Governors (39-23) off-balance all day with five walks and nine strikeouts. He didn't give up a hit until the fourth.


"I would go as far as to say he is the best I've seen all year," said APSU head coach Gary McClure. "I've seen guys with better breaking stuff or guys who have thrown harder, but the kid could really pitch. His fastball really jumped."


The defense was on full display in this pitcher's duel. Indiana State alone had a handful of plays that were fantastic. Two diving plays came from Walterhouse and then two more diving grabs came from Jon Hedges and Koby Kramer to end innings, but the play of the game came from Austin Peay.


Down to one out in the fourth, Walterhouse hit a deep, long fly ball out to center that carried to the wall. Center fielder Michael Blanchard tracked down the ball and leaped at the wall while on a dead sprint to rob Walterhouse of a game-tying home run. The play proved to be the last shot ISU had to tie the game.


Austin Peay's starter, Andy Cox (6-1), picked up the win after giving up just three hits in seven innings. All three hits were to Curry.


"He did a great job," McClure said. "He never panics. He is just that type of kid. I never saw one bit of difference in his expression, his approach, wind-up, rushing, anything like that and he just stayed the same. That's one big reason for his success."


Austin Peay struck in the fourth. Jon Clinard led off with a walk and that was followed by a Jordan Hankins base hit. With one out and the bases loaded, the Governors finally broke through with a Rolando Gautier base hit, but the inning would come to an end after Gautier was picked off first following an APSU strikeout.


The Govs threatened in the bottom of the seventh, but ran themselves out of the inning again. Tyler Childress led off with a scorching line drive up the middle and reached third after Manaea tried to pick him off, but the throw went wide. With a runner on third, P.J. Torres drew a walk. Austin Peay had runners on first and third, but two strikeouts sandwiched Torres getting picked off at first.


Austin Peay was picked off three times in the game, two of which came with runners on the corners.


With one out in the ninth, Austin Peay went to its closer, Tyler Rogers (12 SV). The same closer who took the loss in the controversial ending with Oregon the night before came in and got the final two outs to redeem himself.


When asked if he would like to see Oregon over Fullerton in the next game, Rogers said, "It doesn't matter as long as we keep playing."


Austin Peay takes on Cal State Fullerton at noon on Sunday at PK Park.