AUBURN, Ala. – Indiana State scored two runs on a two-out single from Owen Conway in the eighth inning to take a 3-1 win over College of Charleston in the first game of the Auburn Tournament at AU's Plainsman Park.
College of Charleston (3-2) had tied the game at one apiece in the top of the eighth inning after Gunnar Heidt scored from third on a sacrifice fly from Brandon Murray.
However, freshman Player Loving (0-1) allowed a leadoff walk and then Murray dropped a fly ball in left field that put runners on first and second in the eighth inning. Mike Fitzgerald sacrificed the runners up a base, but CofC reliever Michael Hanzlik struck Koby Kraemer and was ahead 0-2 to Conway with two outs. However, Conway hit a bloop single into center field to score the two go-ahead runs.
While Josh Negele (1-0) picked up the win after finishing out the top of the eighth inning, ISU starter Sean Manaea earned most of the attention during the day. The preseason First Team All-American struck out 10 CofC batters and allowed just one hit through 6.0 innings.
CofC senior Matt Pegler was nearly as impressive as he picked up his second straight no-decision in a dramatic game. Pegler allowed one run on five hits through 6.2 innings, although he loaded the bases in the seventh inning with two out. Loving got him out of the jam with a strikeout, but the Sycamores struck for two runs in the next inning.
Murray earned CofC's only RBI of the game and was the only Cougar to get a hit off of Manaea. Heidt picked up CofC's other hit of the game, a leadoff double in the eighth inning. After Devon Reed bunted Heidt to third, a sacrifice fly from Murray allowed Heidt to score the Cougars' lone run.
Casey McCurdy was a perfect 3-for-3 for Indiana State, scoring the game's first run in the third inning off an RBI from Landon Curry.
College of Charleston is scheduled to play against Auburn tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT. LHP Jake Zokan takes the mound for the Cougars against Auburn's lefty Michael O'Neal.