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April 13, 2003

USI falls in the ninth to Lewis

Lewis (10-29, 6-15 GLVC): 2, Southern Indiana (15-18, 6-10 GLVC): 0

The University of Southern Indiana baseball team stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the ninth inning and lost the series finale to Lewis University, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at the USI Baseball Field. The Screaming Eagles fall to 15-18 overall and 6-10 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while the Flyers go to 10-29 overall, 6-15 GLVC.

After Lewis took a 2-0 lead in the top of the ninth, USI sophomore centerfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana) singled and senior second baseman Adam Schiff (Evansville, Indiana) walked to put the tying runs on base. Senior rightfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) followed with a failed sacrifice, while senior third baseman Justin Konopacki (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) flied out to centerfield for the second out.

Freshman first baseman Derik Hutton (Versailles, Indiana) grounded out to third to end the game with runners at second and third. The Flyers had helped the USI position with senior right-handed reliever Joe Ballantine’s wild pitch that moved Wetzel to third and freshman pinch runner Jared Tekulve (Madison, Indiana) to second. Tekulve had entered the game to run for Schiff with two outs.

The Eagles got a tremendous effort from senior right-handed pitcher Dan Tomashek (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) in a losing cause. Tomashek, who was making just his second start in 12 appearances, went all nine innings for the first complete game his USI career and saw his record fall to 1-2. The senior allowed five hits, two earned runs, and three walks, while striking out three.

Tomashek held the Flyers hitless for the first three innings and retired 12 of the first 14 batters to face him.

The third walk of the game cost Tomashek in the Lewis half of the ninth. Flyers’ freshman catcher Andy Sweet led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice by senior rightfielder John Lange and to third on a ground out by junior shortstop Ahern Baranski. With two outs, senior centerfielder Pablo Pabon hit a two-run shot to left center off of Tomashek for the winning runs.

One of the reasons Tomashek received the start Sunday was the injury to sophomore first baseman/pitcher Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana). Keener received 10 stitches in his left knee after suffering a cut while sliding into home plate during USI’s 12-8 victory on Saturday. Keener is likely to be out of the line-up and the rotation for 10 to 14 days.

The Eagles will resume this season’s series with Oakland City University, this time on the road, Tuesday, April 15, at 2 p.m. in Oakland City, Indiana. The Eagles won the first two meetings at the USI Baseball Field, 5-0 and 17-10. The next home game for the Eagles will be Wednesday, April 16, when Brescia University comes to the USI Baseball Field for a 3 p.m. contest.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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