isu baseball home run

Indiana State’s Jake Means (5) congratulates teammate Dane Tofteland (23) after Tofteland hit a home run in the 5th inning during the Sycamores’ game against McNeese on Friday in Nashville, Tennessee.

If you’ve ever had a fly buzzing around your eyes, you know how Indiana State’s baseball team felt in its Nashville Regional opener against McNeese State on Friday.

The Cowboys had runners on-base in all but two innings. McNeese State was a constant, pesky menace for the Sycamores as the Cowboys also used their speed well once they got runners on.

It was a dicey tightrope for the Sycamores to walk, but ISU never fell. Thanks to a two-run home run by Dane Tofteland and a four-inning relief effort by Tyler Grauer, the Sycamores kept the Cowboys and won 6-5 at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field.

ISU will play again at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday against the winner of tonight’s Vanderbilt-Ohio State game. ISU is guaranteed to play until at least Sunday.

ISU’s victory was its first in a NCAA regional game since 1995, breaking a string of five-straight NCAA losses.

Todd Aaron Golden has been Sports Editor and Indiana State beat writer since September 2004. Born in Milwaukee but an Indiana resident most of his adult life, he previously worked in Jeffersonville, Columbus and Eau Claire, Wis.