March 10, 2008

Around the Bases

CBI Live
Missouri weathers the storm

By Patrick Hyde 
COLUMBIA, Mo. – No coach or player likes to lose.

Indiana State head coach Lindsay Meggs is no different. The frustrated coach had just watched his team get swept for the second straight weekend by a nationally ranked team.

Last weekend, the Sycamores (1-8) went to Mississippi and lost all three games in highly competitive series with the Rebels. On Sunday, they lost both games of a doubleheader as No. 14 Missouri opened its home schedule with a sweep with 9-8 and 6-2 wins.

Meggs was obviously frustrated by his team's six straight losses, but tried to shed a more positive light on the slump.

"We played [Ole Miss] tough and blew a lead in the ninth" Meggs said. "We blew a lead earlier here today, but we chose to play the toughest teams we could find so we could get ready for Missouri Valley play."

In the first game Sunday, the Sycamores struggled to do anything against Mizzou's starter for the second straight day. Ian Berger pitched six innings and allowed one unearned run for the Tigers. His relief wasn't as effective.

The Sycamores sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run seventh to take a 6-3 lead. That lead, though, didn't see the eighth inning. 

Missouri answered with a five-run inning of its own, which was capped by left fielder Aaron Senne's three-run homer. Senne (3 for 5, 2 HR, 5 RBI) had another big day after his two-RBI effort Saturday.

"It took their five-run inning to really get us going," Senne said. "We got it going, got some energy on the bench and put something together offensively."

Chris Schmidt (2 for 5, 3 RBI) tied the game for the Sycamores with a two-run triple in the eighth to set up a dramatic finish.

In the ninth, the first two Tigers struck out, and extra innings seemed inevitable. But catcher Trevor Coleman singled to right, and designated hitter Greg Folgia crushed a 2-2 pitch off the right-center field wall for a game-winning double.

In the second game, Folgia again powered the Tigers to a hard-fought victory with another game-winning hit, but this time the hit came in the seventh and plated two.

"We're consistent throughout the lineup," Folgia said. "When somebody has a bad game, somebody's going to pick them up, and that's something that everybody has been doing this year."

The Tigers were paced through the first seven innings by sophomore righty Kyle Gibson. Gibson (7.1 innings, two runs and nine strikeouts) struggled to find his location early, but settled down and allowed just three base runners between the third and eighth inning.

"I have some movement on my two-seam [fastball]," Gibson (3-0) said. "Since my slider kind of goes the other way, I've got to start throwing stuff at the middle of the plate and that's what I was really doing today."

Freshman lefthander Kelly Fick pitched 1.2 innings to pick up his first collegiate save.

"They can really pitch," Meggs said. "Pitching is their strength. They ride their pitchers. They do a good job, and they are going to have to be dealt with on the mound."