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April 02, 2003

Screaming Eagles break losing streak with 5-4 win

@Southern Indiana (11-15, 3-7 GLVC): 5
Missouri-St. Louis (18-6, 6-3 GLVC): 4


The University of Southern Indiana baseball team broke a six-game losing streak and knocked off the Great Lakes Valley Conference leading University of Missouri-St. Louis, 5-4, at the USI Baseball Field Wednesday afternoon. USI raises its record to 11-15 overall and 3-7 in the GLVC, while UMSL, ranked 12th nationally, falls to 18-6, 6-3 GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles put the winning run across the plate in the bottom of the seventh when USI senior rightfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) scored before sophomore centerfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana) was tagged for the final out of the inning. Wetzel was tagged out in a run-down after being picked off first base by UMSL senior right-hander Greg Bierling.

USI drew first blood in the game with a tally in the first inning on three straight singles after two were out. Sophomore first baseman Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana) picked up the first of his two RBIs when he singled in senior third baseman Justin Konopacki (Ft. Wayne, Indiana).

After UMSL took the lead 2-1 in the second, USI scored three times in the third to move out in front, 4-2. Owen sparked the offense with a one-out triple and scored on Keener’s second single of the day. Senior catcher Paul Kohler (Arnold, Missouri) followed with a screaming double down the left field line, scoring Keener. Kohler finished the scoring in the third when sophomore designated hitter Toby Pritchard (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) singled to right field. The Rivermen bounced back with a run in the fourth and the tying run in the fifth.

For the game, Owen led the Eagles by going four-for-four with two runs scored and the triple. Keener joined Owen in getting multiple hits, going two-for-three with a run scored and two RBIs.

On the mound, senior left-hander Joe Stanisz (Highland, Indiana) got the win in relief for the Eagles. Stanisz, who raised his record to 2-1, pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing one hit and a hit batter to reach base. Senior left-hander Brian Anderson (Brazil, Indiana) made his first relief appearance of the year and picked up his first save. Anderson worked one inning, allowing two walks.

Junior right-hander Drew Neel (Newburgh, Indiana) started the game for USI, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) while striking out three. Senior right-hander Dan Tomashek (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) pitched two-thirds of an inning to get Stanisz out of an eighth inning jam.

The next action for USI will be on the road at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Saturday, April 5. The first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader will be noon. The Eagles will return to the friendly confines of the USI Baseball Field Sunday, April 6, when SIUE visits Evansville for a single game at 1 p.m.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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