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April 07, 2002

USI gives up two in 12th in loss at SIUE

Univ. of Southern Indiana (14-18, 7-9 GLVC): 8 (12 innings)
@Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (18-15, 6-5 GLVC): 9

The University of Southern Indiana baseball team was outscored in the 12th inning at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, losing 9-8 Sunday afternoon. USI sees its record fall to 14-18 overall and 7-9 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while SIUE goes to 18-15, 6-5 GLVC.

Both teams scored at will in the first three innings with USI plating two runs in each of the first three innings, while SIUE tied the game with two in the first and took the lead for a half inning with four tallies in the second. The Cougars retook the lead with a run in fourth before USI forced the fourth tie of the game with a tally in the seventh.

The Eagles took the lead in the top of the 12th off a sacrifice fly by senior infielder Justin Ambs (Zionsville, Indiana), scoring freshman centerfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana) from third. Wetzel had walked to start the inning, stole second, and advanced to third on a ground out. The lead, however, would not last.

USI senior left-hander Darrin Weeks (Forrest, Illinois), who had pitched four solidly innings in relief, allowed the first two SIUE runners to reach in bottom of the 12th before giving way to freshman right-hander Matt Antey (Newburgh, Indiana). After a ground out advance the runners to second and third, Antey gave up a two-run game-winning single to Jason Kessler, SIUE’s designated hitter.

USI was led offensively by four players with multiple hits. Junior leftfield Andy Nucci (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), junior rightfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin), senior designated hitter Brian Branson (Mt. Vernon, Indiana), and Wetzel collected two hits each.

Branson had the big blow for the Eagles, hitting a home run in the seventh inning to tie the score, 7-7. Wetzel was USI’s top RBI man at the plate, driving in a pair of runs.

The Eagles once again had strong efforts from the bullpen. Junior left-hander Joe Stanisz (Highland, Indiana) went 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and one unearned run, while Weeks (0-1) went four-plus innings allowing two hits and two runs.

The next games for the Eagles will be on the road Wednesday, April 10, at Bellarmine University. The GLVC doubleheader will begin at noon (CT).

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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