AVE MARIA, Fla. – Trey Bickel (JR/Mishawaka, Indiana) fanned 11 Ave Maria University hitters in game one of a double-header to kick off the Indiana University South Bend's 2016 spring break trip. A two-run fifth inning propelled the Titans to a 2-1 victory in the series opener before falling 7-4 in the nightcap to the Gyrenes.
The split moves the Titans to 5-4 overall on the year.
Bickel racked up seven strikeouts and allowed just one run through the first four innings in the opening contest of today's series. The Gyrenes got on the board with a solo home run from Ryan Keegan in the bottom of the fourth.
In the IU South Bend half of the fifth Kevin Phelps (JR/Portage, Michigan) reached with a one out single and would later advance to third on an AMU wild pitch. Josh Fry (FR/Mishawaka, Indiana) got the Titans on the board with an RBI ground out to third base to score Phelps. Vinny Essig (FR/Noblesville, Indiana) stepped to the plate and drove in Sam Azarian (SO/Racine, Wisconsin) who reached via a hit by pitch earlier in the inning to give the Titans a 2-1 lead.
Bickel continued to mow AMU hitters down as they left four runners stranded in their final two at-bats of the game. Bickel allowed one run on six hits to pick up his first win of the season.
Phelps finished with two of the Titans six hits.
In the nightcap the Titans bats were silenced until the sixth inning in which they exploded for four runs. IU South Bend went hitless until Chris Mangus (JR/Niles, Michigan) singled up the middle in the fourth inning.
In the top of the sixth Spencer McCool (FR/Anderson, Indiana) and Jalon Linville (JR/Louisville, Kentucky) got things going with a double from McCool and a hit by pitch by Linville, both would later score on a throwing error by the AMU catcher to cut the Gyrene lead in half. After a double by Chris Mangus, freshman Mason Love (FR/Monmouth, Illinois) blasted his first homerun of the year to knot the game at four.
In the bottom half of the frame the Gyrenes answered by pushing three runs across which turned out to be the final three runs of the game as AMU won the nightcap by a score of 7-4.
Jacob Kwisz (FR/Knightstown, Indiana) took the loss throwing 1.1 innings allowing three runs on three hits.
IU South Bend will have tomorrow off and will return to action on Monday as they take on Colby-Sawyer College. Live stats and video can be found HERE.