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May 04, 2002

USI splits in first day of Mercyhurst Classic

Game 1:
Univ. of Southern Indiana (22-27): 12
Univ. of Pittsburgh-Johnstown (28-17-1): 3

Game 2:
Univ. of Southern Indiana (22-28): 2
@Mercyhurst College (23-25): 4


The University of Southern Indiana baseball team rode the arm of senior right-hander Steve Arnold (Evansville, Indiana) for the second straight game to earn a split in the first day of the Mercyhurst Classic in Erie, Pennsylvania, Saturday afternoon. Arnold and USI defeated the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, 12-3, but lost to Mercyhurst College, 4-2.

Arnold, who is 4-0 with four complete games in the last five starts, went all seven innings to raise his record to 5-5 and to the .500 mark for the first time since February 23. The senior right-hander scattered 13 hits and allowed three earned runs in his final start as an Eagle.

The Eagles supported Arnold offensively, scoring all 12 runs in each of the first five innings. Senior centerfielder Marcus Renn (Floyds Knobs, Indiana), junior rightfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin), junior first baseman Justin Konopacki (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), sophomore leftfielder Adam Anderson (Raleigh, Illinois), and freshman designated hitter Andy Rock (West Chester, Ohio) pounded out two hits each.

The big blasts for the Eagles were a doubles by Konopacki and junior catcher Paul Kohler (Arnold, Missouri), both driving in runs, and a triple by Owen. Konopacki, Owen, and junior second baseman Adam Schiff (Evansville, Indiana) each scored twice in the victory as the top of the line-up produced seven of the 12 runs.

In the loss to Mercyhurst, the Lakers broke the 2-2 tie with a pair of tallies in the bottom of the fourth to defeat USI, 4-2.

USI junior left-hander Brian Anderson (Brazil, Indiana) took the loss for the Eagles, allowing four earned runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. Brian Anderson falls to 4-6.

The Eagles received solid work out of the bullpen in the loss as sophomore right-hander Drew Neel (Newburgh, Indiana) and junior left-hander Joe Stanisz (Highland, Indiana) finished the game. The pair held Mercyhurst scoreless, with Neel allowing just two hits.

At the plate, Owen was one-half of the USI offense, hitting solo shot in the first inning. He leads the team with six home runs this spring.

The Eagles will finish the 2002 regular season by playing the same two teams on Sunday, May 5, in the Mercyhurst Classic. USI will UPJ at 10 a.m. (CT) and Mercyhurst at 12:30 p.m. (CT)

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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