NCAA Nashville Preview: Sycamores Open Play Friday with Georgia Tech

NASHVILLE – Indiana State baseball will open the 2021 NCAA Tournament Friday at 1 p.m. ET/12 noon CT at Hawkins Field in Nashville. The No. 3 seeded Sycamores will begin regional play against No. 2 Georgia Tech before advancing to Saturday where ISU will face either No. 4 overall national seed and regional host Vanderbilt or No. 4 seeded Presbyterian.

 

Fans can watch Friday’s action on ESPN3 with Mike Couzens and Greg Swindell calling the action. Each game of the postseason will air on the ESPN family of networks. Visit the baseball schedule page on GoSycamores.com for updated information. Sycamore fans can also hear the radio call on throughout the weekend on GoSycamores.com worldwide or 97.9 FM or 1230 AM WIBQ in the Wabash Valley with Luke Martin and Brian Fritz on the call.

 

NEWS & NOTEWORTHY

 

» Indiana State (30-19) is making its 11th overall NCAA appearance, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Nashville Regional — the second consecutive trip to Nashville for the postseason after winning two games in 2019 against McNeese and Ohio State before falling to the eventual national champion Vanderbilt Commodores. Other years that ISU appeared in the NCAA Postseason include: 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1995, 2012, 2014, 2019, 2021).

 

» The Sycamores earned the No. 3 seed in the Nashville Regional and will open play with a matchup against No. 2 seed Georgia Tech (29-23) on Friday, June 4, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Host and No. 4 national seed Vanderbilt (40-15) will face No. 4 seed Presbyterian (22-21) in the other opening contest.

 

» Indiana State is 10-20 all-time in postseason play, including the 1986 team that advanced to the only College World Series in program history.  Indiana State is making back-to-back NCAA appearances for the first time since the 1986-1987 seasons. The 2019 team was the first team that won two NCAA games in the same regional since 1989 in Starkville, Mississippi. In 2019, the Sycamores opened the Nashville Regional with a 6-5 win over McNeese before defeating Ohio State 10-5.

 

» The Sycamores opened the year with 24-straight games away from home, including 11 games against RPI top-100 teams. ISU is 21-12 in true road games. The team secured its 13th-straight winning season in 2021 and will finish in the top-100 in RPI for the ninth-straight year.

 

» ISU head coach Mitch Hannahs is in his eighth season at the helm of the program and has guided the Sycamores to a 239-158 (.602) overall record during his time in Terre Haute. Hannahs, who is one of the most decorated student-athletes in program history, entered the Indiana State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 and has been a part of seven of the programs 11 trips to the NCAA Postseason Tournament as a player or coach (’86, ’87, ’89, ’95, ’14, ’19, ’21). Since taking over the program in 2013, Hannahs has led the Sycamores to over 200 wins, three NCAA Tournament appearances, and six top-3 finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference. He sits second all-time in career wins behind legendary head coach and ISU Hall of Famer Bob Warn who guided the program to 1,070 wins from 1976-2006. In all eight seasons, the Sycamores have completed winning seasons and finished the year ranked in the top-100 in RPI.

 

» Geremy Guerrero was named Pitcher of the Year — the first time a Sycamore has earned the award in program history — while Aaron Beck earned Newcomer of the Year accolades marking consecutive years that an Indiana State student-athlete has earned the honor.

 

» Indiana State placed a league-high five players on the all-conference first team. The Sycamores’ first-team selections included Jordan Schaffer (SS), Max Wright (C), Aaron Beck (OF), Geremy Guerrero (SP) and Connor Fenlong (RP). Guerrero and Wright also earned spots on the MVC all-defensive team.

 

» Geremy Guerrero was named a Third Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Thursday. Guerrero is the sixth Indiana State pitcher to be named an All-American and the first All-American for the Sycamores since 1996 when Dan Olson earned the honor from the American Baseball Coaches Association.

 

» Guerrero, a product of Metamora, Ill., owns an MVC-best 1.93 ERA and has registered a 10-1 record in 13 starts. He also leads the MVC in innings pitched (93.1) opposing batting average (.174) and runners picked off (3). Guerrero has two complete games on the season, including his last outing in the MVC Championship against Illinois State. He ranks in the top-5 in strikeouts (97-3rd), wins (10-2nd), (12-2nd), doubles allowed (4-1st), earned runs allowed (18-3rd). Guerrero ranks first nationally with a 0.76 WHIP. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7.46 and hits allowed per nine innings (5.59) rank first in the MVC and top 25 nationally. Only two other ISU pitchers have ever finished a season leading The Valley in ERA. In 1983, Paul Quinzer led the MVC with a 2.04 ERA and in 2013 current Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manaea paced the league with an ERA of 1.47.

 

Full Game Notes …

For the latest information on Sycamore Baseball, visit GoSycamores.com. You can also find the team on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

 

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