No one wanted to say it out loud at the time, but the Indiana State baseball team had an up-and-down month of May.
On one hand, the Sycamores took two-out-of-three in what turned out to be a crucial series against Wichita State at the start of the month, swept Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Ill., in the middle, and clinched the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship in their first try against Missouri State near the end.
On the other hand, ISU lost the remaining games against the Bears in the three-game home series, went 0-for-the MVC Tournament in Springfield, Mo., and capped the month with a harrowing five-day stay on the NCAA Tournament at-large bubble.
In the end, it all worked for ISU as the Sycamores were selected Monday to play in an NCAA Tournament Regional at the University of Oregon. ISU plays Cal State-Fullerton at 5 p.m. Friday at Oregon’s PK Park.
But for the jubilation experienced Monday and the sense of validation it gave the Sycamores for their 41-17 season, there was also the vibe of unrealized redemption.
Yes, the NCAA selection committee had deemed the Sycamores worthy of inclusion in the tournament, but the Sycamores themselves want to show that their late-season inconsistency was an outlier, not a matter of a team reverting to its true level.
“We didn’t finish the regular season very strongly, but the committee looked at our body of work. We got a second chance and we’ll be able to take full advantage of that. We can prove to the country what kind of team we are,” ISU senior left fielder Kyle Burnam said.
Once the Sycamores were selected to play in the field, ISU coach Rick Heller was blunt about the fact that the Sycamores didn’t play the way they were capable of playing in the last month of the year.
“For third-quarters of the season, we executed right, that’s the team we were. Once we won the championship, we got away from that a little,” Heller said. “We were 7-6 in May and had some things happen that didn’t happen earlier in the year. This gives us a second chance to be that team we were and things will go back to norm.”
In a sense, ISU’s long wait on the NCAA Tournament at-large bubble should serve as a cautionary tale for the Sycamores. Let your guard down and everything positive the team did through the course of the season can go down the drain.
With Fullerton (35-19) and Oregon (42-17) providing stiff competition in ISU’s regional, Heller knows the margin for error is non-existent.
“The way I look at it is that we’re a team that plays well when we’re doing everything right. It’s not like we have three or four first-round draft picks and it depends on whether they hit a home run that day to determine our fate,” Heller said.
“If we play our game and play it well, we can beat anybody, but it has to be that. Any deviation from that will make us a good team that’s going to get beat if we don’t play our style of baseball,” Heller added.
That mantra goes for any of ISU’s opponents this weekend.
“It really doesn’t matter who we play. We’ve beaten teams just as good and we’ve lost to teams far worse. It all stems from how we control ourselves,” Heller said.
ISU’s players seemed to take to heart the close call they had in making the field. They hope the sense of renewal carries over to results.
“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get to Omaha [site of the College World Series]. Now we can do that. Who knows how far we can go? It’s all up to us now. We want to make people know our name,” ISU catcher Jeremy Lucas said.
• Regular rotation to be used — Heller indicated that he will use ISU’s regular starting rotation in the regional. No. 1 starter Dakota Bacus is scheduled to start Friday against Fullerton.
Heller changed the rotation at the MVC Tournament as he elected to go with No. 2 starter Sean Manaea in game one of the tournament and Bacus in the second game.
The decision didn’t really have a discernible effect on the two games. Creighton’s Ty Blach one-hit the Sycamores in game one and Bacus struggled in the second game.
ISU will practice at PK Park at 11 a.m. (PDT) Thursday. The Sycamores will get about 24 hours of rest before they face Fullerton.
• Hitchin’ a ride — ISU chartered a flight to Eugene, Ore., on Wednesday. Before it made the long trek out west, it detoured to Nashville, Tenn., to pick up Austin Peay (38-22), the fourth-seeded team in the Oregon Regional.
It seemed apropos that another connection had been made to one of the regional participants as ISU, or members of its coaching staff, have links to each of the other three teams in some fashion.
“It’s funny how things work. [Oregon coach] George Horton was Ronnie Prettyman’s coach at Fullerton [Prettyman is a volunteer assistant coach for ISU] and a friend of mine from the All-American committee,” Heller said. “[Former ISU men’s basketball coach] Kevin McKenna and Megan [McKenna, former member of the ISU athletic department] are out there from the old basketball staff.
“Austin Peay is there. [APSU coach] Gary McClure and I grew up playing each other in two dinky towns 15 miles apart in Iowa and here we are going to Oregon to play in a regional against each other,” Heller added.
No one wanted to say it out loud at the time, but the Indiana State baseball team had an up-and-down month of May.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
VIDEO: Munn has made her mark on ISU women's program
Anna Munn has been a dependable leader in the Indiana State women’s basketball program. Her leadership has helped coach Teri Moren build to back-to-back 10-or-more win seasons in the Missouri Valley the last two years.
Rose-Hulman wins third straight HCAC tournament crown
Tied with Hanover 26-26 at halftime of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball championship game Saturday night, host Rose-Hulman knew it had a couple of things in its favor.
Rolling along: Third straight victory helps Sycamores tie for second in MVC
Aside from Teri Moren sticking with her pink Chuck Taylor shoes on the sideline for superstitious reasons, Indiana State’s three-game winning streak can be explained by strong play in nearly every aspect of the game.
Sycamores stay positive in face of adversity
After Indiana State’s 77-59 loss at Illinois State on Wednesday, ISU players had an idea of how the tone of Thursday and Friday’s practices would be prior to today’s regular-season finale against Northern Iowa.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Odum's final chapter is here; how will he author the ending?
If you compare a college basketball career to a book, Indiana State point guard Jake Odum has been a page-turner from day one.
Odum has dazzled ISU fans from the time he became a starter during the first weekend of his first season in 2010. The Sycamores have not had a losing season during the Odum era, a run of success unprecedented in ISU’s Division I history.
VIDEO: Indiana State women looking to add to winning streak at home
Indiana State looks to put a three-game winning streak together tonight against Loyola, who topped the Sycamores behind 30 points by senior forward Troy Hambric for one of the Ramblers’ nine wins this season.
The Sycamores’ women’s basketball team stifled Missouri State last Friday and knocked off first-place Wichita State on Sunday for a pair of road wins last weekend. They'll look to build upon that momentum tonight at home.
Sheehey's career-high 30 helps Hoosiers over No. 20 Iowa
Will Sheehey scored 19 of his career-high 30 points in the first half and Stanford Robinson added a career-best 17 to lead Indiana over No. 20 Iowa 93-86 on Thursday night in a game that was postponed last week.
A.J. Reed picks up multiple NCAA baseball honors
Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been named National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a National Player of the Week by NCAA.com, according to separate announcements.
A member of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List, the Terre Haute native was named National Hitter of the Week by the NCBWA, with VMI right-hander Reed Garrett earning NCBWA Pitcher of the Week.
Redbirds dominate Sycamores 77-59
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is running out of answers for its recent woes ... and it’s running out of time to fix them. The slumping Sycamores added defensive problems to their offensive slump on Wednesday at Illinois State. The Redbirds made the Sycamores pay dearly for their poor all-around effort out of the gate as the Sycamores fell 77-59.
Rose coach expects wide-open race for HCAC title
Both Rose-Hulman basketball programs hope their teams will still be talked about in the Wabash Valley media after this weekend when they compete in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments.
No. 16 Michigan rallies past Purdue
Glenn Robinson III got a late bank shot to roll in as time expired Wednesday night, giving No. 16 Michigan a 77-76 overtime victory at Purdue.
Metro roundup: Hutson awarded USA Track and Field grant
Terre Haute native and 2016 Olympic hopeful Kylie Hutson was awarded a $7,000 grant from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
No. 14 Wisconsin beats Indiana 69-58
Sam Dekker scored 16 points and No. 14-ranked Wisconsin shrugged off a slow start to beat Indiana University 69-58 in men’s basketball Tuesday night.
The Hoosiers (15-12, 5-9 Big Ten) held Wisconsin (23-5, 10-5) to its lowest point production in the first half this season, taking a 29-19 lead.
Rose coach still ‘hanging around’
Approaching the start of his 25th season as Rose-Hulman’s baseball coach, Jeff Jenkins remembers some of his 601 victories, most of his teams’ highlights from five NCAA Division III tournament appearances and pretty much all of Art Nehf Field’s significant upgrades. He also can count on one hand how many times that umpires have tossed him from a game — two.
Metro: MVC honors Lockwood, Abdul-Qaadir; national award for A.J.
Indiana State sophomore Taylor Lockwood was named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday after pitching one of two ISU softball shutouts Sunday and earning Most Valuable Player honors at Tennessee State’s Tiger Classic.
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- Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title