Raiders’ season ends in Terre Haute NCAA Regional

The Wright State baseball program’s season came to an end in the Terre Haute NCAA Regional after the Raiders lost 5–0 to North Carolina and 6–5 to Indiana State. (Photos by Alex Underwood)

The Wright State University baseball program’s season came to an end last weekend in the Terre Haute NCAA Regional at Indiana State University’s Bob Warn Field.

The fourth-seeded Raiders lost 5–0 to No. 3 seed North Carolina and 6–5 to top-seed Indiana State.

The Raiders conclude the 2023 season with a 39–33 overall record, highlighted by their fifth consecutive Horizon League regular season title and third-straight Horizon League Championship. Wright State finished with a 22–8 record against conference opponents while also beating nationally ranked Kentucky, Ohio State (twice) and 2023 NCAA Tournament participant Army (twice).

Raiders knocked out by North Carolina in elimination game

In an elimination game on June 3, Wright State trailed by just one run, 1–0, after six innings of play, but the Tar Heels (36–23) broke the game open with a two-out, three-run homer off the bat of Mac Horvath in the bottom of the seventh. North Carolina’s Johnny Castagnozzi laced an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth for the game’s final run.

Wright State’s offense struggled in the regional matchup, tallying a season-low four baserunners. The Raiders’ best chance to score transpired in the top of the fifth inning, when Sammy Sass led off the frame with a single, and Julian Greenwell followed with a potential two-run homer that was robbed by UNC outfielder Casey Cook at the right field wall. Andrew Patrick and Greenwell reached second base with two outs in the sixth and seventh frames but were left stranded.

North Carolina’s starting pitcher Max Carlson struck out five batters while allowing only one hit in 6.2 innings of work. Dalton Pence collected the save by working 2.1 perfect innings out of the bullpen.

Wright State’s starting pitcher Luke Stofel had his way against one of the top offensive teams in the country, holding the Tar Heels to just one run on three hits and four walks while striking out four batters in his first six innings of work. However, UNC’s three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh ended his outing with four runs given up over 116 pitches.

Raiders drop heartbreaker to No. 14 Indiana State in opening round

The Wright State baseball program finished on the losing end of a 6–5 battle versus No. 14 Indiana State in the Terre Haute NCAA Regional opening round on June 2.

Wright State jumped out to a 2–0 lead over the regional host in the top of the second inning when Boston Smith laced a two-run double. Indiana State made it a one-run game with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame.

Gehrig Anglin swung the momentum with a two-run homer in the top of the third, extending Wright State’s advantage to 4–1. The Sycamores responded with another run in the bottom of the third, but Andrew Patrick pushed the Raider lead back to three runs, 5–2, with a solo homer to lead off the fifth.

ISU chipped away with a solo homer of its own in the bottom of the sixth before taking a 6–5 lead in the bottom of the eighth with three runs on three hits and two walks, punctuated by a game-winning two-run single off the bat of Grant Magill.

The Raiders went down in order in the top of the ninth to seal the tournament loss.

Anglin paced Wright State at the plate, as the sixth-year senior batted 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a walk. Patrick recorded a home run, two runs scored and a stolen base to become the first NCAA Division I player with at least 20 doubles (21), 20 homers (20) and 30 stolen bases (30) this season.

Wright State scored all five of its runs off ISU starting pitcher Matt Jachec but was held scoreless on five hits against the Sycamore bullpen. The Raiders also stranded seven runners on base, including four in the last four innings.

Starting pitcher Sebastian Gongora allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out seven batters in 7.1 innings. He limited ISU to three runs in his first seven innings of work but was tagged for a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Tristan Haught was credited with the loss in relief after giving up Indiana State’s game-winning run in the eighth.

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