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April 01, 2003

USI baseball hopes to get on track against UMSL

The University of Southern Indiana baseball team hopes to break a six-game losing streak when it hosts the University of Missouri-St. Louis Wednesday, April 2, at the USI Baseball Field. The first pitch will be thrown at 2 p.m.

The Screaming Eagles, 10-15 overall and 2-7 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, dropped all three games of the transplanted series with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside over the weekend. The Eagles had their chance to win games two and three, but fell a run short in the late innings.

For the season, USI is led by sophomore pitcher/first baseman Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana) with a .314 batting average and a 2.25 ERA. Keener also is tied for second on the team with a 2-0 record on the mound and is third on the team with 11 RBIs.

Senior rightfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) is the Eagles’ top run producer with 16 RBIs, four home runs, and eight doubles. Owen, who is hitting .294, also leads the Eagles with 16 runs scored.

On the mound, senior left-hander Brian Anderson (Brazil, Indiana) is tops on the team in wins with a 4-3 record. He is second on the team with a 2.85 ERA and 21 strike outs. Junior right-hander Drew Neel (Newburgh, Indiana) is tied with Keener in wins at 2-2, but leads the squad with a team-high 28 strikeouts.

The Rivermen of the University of Missouri-St. Louis come to the USI Baseball Field with a GLVC-best 6-2 league record and an 18-5 overall record. UMSL has won 12 of its last 15 games after splitting a non-conference doubleheader on Sunday with Rockhurst University.

The Rivermen are led by senior outfielder Jim Reiter. Reiter, a 2002 second team All-GLVC performer, is hitting .403 with 21 RBIs and three triples. Junior outfielder Logan Hughes follows Reiter with a .367 batting average and a team-best 32 RBIs and 13 doubles.

On the hill, UMSL’s big four – junior left-hander Kevin Sahrmann, senior right-hander Greg Bierling, sophomore left-hander Matt Kueny, and senior right-hander Bobby Tiefenauer— have combined for an 11-2 record and an average 3.35 ERA. Sahrmann has the top ERA at 2.92, while Bierling and Kueny are 3-0 and 4-0, respectively.

USI leads the overall series with UMSL, 21-20. The Eagles also have won four of the last six games with the Rivermen, going 2-1 last season. USI’ s Owen, senior second baseman Adam Schiff (Evansville, Indiana), and senior catcher Paul Kohler (Arnold, Missouri) led the Eagles against the Rivermen in 2002. Owen swung the bat at a .462 clip against the Rivermen, while Schiff hit .455 and Kohler was at .444.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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