News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 28, 2014

Going the distance: Redbirds ace Savas allows just five hits while shutting down Sycamores

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State’s pitchers weren’t their best in Friday’s series opener against Illinois State, but it seemed the Sycamores might get away with it.

Through seven innings, ISU had issued six walks, gave up six hits and hit a batter, but still trailed by just a run.

But ISU’s luck with its generosity would give out in the eighth, and even if it hadn’t, Illinois State standout starter Dan Savas had the Sycamores’ bats in a deep freeze anyway. The Redbirds defeated the Sycamores 5-2 at Bob Warn Field.

The Sycamores became Savas’ latest victim. The Illinois State junior took a 6-0 record and a 0.92 ERA into the contest and his gaudy numbers didn’t take a hit Friday.

Savas allowed just five hits and struck out six. He had a stretch where he set down 10 straight Sycamores.

“The bottom line was he controlled the mound tonight and he controlled the tempo of the game. We didn’t put as many at-bats as we needed to beat a guy like that,” ISU coach Mitch Hannahs said.

The scary thing? While Hannahs said Savas was the best Friday starter ISU has seen this season, Hannahs didn’t think he was at his best.

“He’s as good as anyone we’ve seen because he’s always composed,” Hannahs said. “He probably wasn’t at his best. At times, he was erratic and got behind in counts, but he controlled the game.”

ISU got to Savas before the Redbirds got to ISU starter David Stagg. Brian Romero walked, Tyler Wampler hit a single off Savas’ foot and Cody Zimmerman hit an opposite field single to left to make it 1-0 in the second.

Illinois State had an immediate response in its third. Sean Beesley led off with a single, stole second and third and scored on a Paul DeJong single to tie it up.

Stagg held off the Redbirds until the fifth. Daniel Dwyer’s one-out walk was cashed in when Mike Hollenbeck doubled down the left field line to score Dwyer and make it 2-1.

Illinois State scored two more in the eighth -- ISU issued two walks and hit two batters in a hitless rally for the Redbirds -- and another in the ninth to make it 5-1.

ISU only threatened Savas in the ninth. Mike Fitzgerald led off with a single and Romero reached on an error. Another error in center field on a Zahn fly ball scored Fitzgerald to make it 5-2. With two on and one out, Connor McClain then hit a long liner to right field over Illinois State right fielder Logan Leverett. It seemed ISU would tack on more runs.

But Leverett made a spectacular over-the-shoulder diving catch and doubled up Wampler at second to end the game.

“There’s a lot more we could have done to win the game. We can’t wait until the ninth inning to get going,” Zimmerman said.

The two teams hook up again at 2 p.m. today. Brad Lombard (4-0, 2.95) is scheduled to pitch for ISU. Dylan Craig (3-0, 1.96) is the Redbirds’ projected starter.

Terre Haute South 11, Southmont 4

Terre Haute South (AB-R-H-RBI) — Jones 3b 4-3-2-0, Higgins cf 5-2-3-2, Marlow ss 5-2-2-1, McGregor 1b 4-2-3-3, McFarland rf 3-1-0-0, Stout 2b 3-0-0-1, Schilling c 4-0-0-1, Gossman p 4-0-1-2, B. Gilbert pr 0-0-0-0, Dalton lf 1-0-0-0, Rowley lf 2-1-1-0. Totals 35-11-13-9.

Southmont (AB-R-H-RBI) — Jordan p 4-3-4-2, Thompson cf 4-0-1-1, Casteel rf 3-0-2-0, England lf 1-0-1-0, Chadd pr 0-0-0-0, Myers c 3-0-0-0, Welliever dp 3-0-0-0, Mills 1b 0-0-0-0, Madison 2b 3-0-0-0, Laws ss 3-0-0-0, Perry 3b 2-1-0-0. Totals 26-4-8-4.

Terre Haute South    204    300    2    —    11

Southmont    101    010    1    —    7

 E — Jordan. DP — None. LOB — THS 7, Sm 4. HR — Jordan 2. 3B — Marlow. 2B — McGregor, Jordan.

Pitching

Terre Haute South    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO

Gossman    7    8    4    4    1    1

Southmont    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO

Jordan    7    13    11    10    4    7

W — Gossman (1-0). L — Jordan (0-1). HBP — by Gossman (Perry).

Next — South (1-0) travels to Casey, Ill., on Monday.

 

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