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April 14, 2003

USI baseball starts week with non-conference games
Game for Fridayís game with Quincy moved to 3 p.m.

The University of Southern Indiana baseball team will start this week with a pair of non-conference single games before resuming Great Lakes Valley Conference action at the end of the week. USI travels to Oakland City University, Tuesday, April 15, before hosting Brescia University Wednesday, April 16.

The Screaming Eagles will play on the road this week in the GLVC Friday and Saturday, April 18-19, at Quincy University. The game time for Fridayís doubleheader has been moved to 3 p.m. with Saturdayís single game starting at noon.

The Eagles enter this weekís action still trying to get back to the .500 mark. USI, which is 15-17 overall, 6-9 in the conference, was 2-2 last week after defeating Oakland City and going 1-2 against Lewis University over the weekend.

The squad may be without one of its key players this week. Sophomore first baseman/pitcher Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana) needed 10 stitches to close a cut on his left knee that occurred on a play at the plate in USIís 12-8 victory over Lewis.

Keener has the Eagles top batting average, .341, and is tied for third on the team with 16 RBIs. He also has the teamís best ERA on the mound at 2.18 and is a perfect 3-0 in five starts.

USIís offensive leader is senior rightfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Indiana). Owen is second on the team with a .316 batting average, but leads the squad with 25 runs scored, 10 doubles, six home runs, and 24 RBIs. He also is tied for second on the team with three triples.

Two of USIís hottest players at the plate are sophomore designated hitter Toby Pritchard (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) and sophomore centerfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana). Prichard has raised his batting average 38 points over the last four games, hitting .462 with a team-high four doubles and six RBIs. Wetzel raised his average 28 points by also posting a .462 average last week.

Wetzel is 56 points above his freshman season at .287, while Pritchard has raised his season average to .291.

On the mound last week, senior right-hander Dan Tomashek (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) led the Eagles with a 1-1 record, posting a 3.07 ERA in 14.2 innings over two games. Tomashek had his best start of the year on Sunday, despite the complete game loss to Lewis. The senior threw 8 2/3 innings of shutout baseball before allowing the deciding two-run home run in the ninth.

For the season, senior left-handed starter Brian Anderson (Brazil, Indiana) is USIís top winner with a 5-3 record this spring. Anderson also is second on the team with a 3.02 ERA and 25 strike outs. Junior right-hander Drew Neel (Newburgh, Indiana) is tops on the team with 38 strike outs this spring while posting a 2-3 record and a 4.67 ERA.

USI will be looking for its third straight win over Oakland City on Tuesday. The Eagles, who lead the series, 62-6, won the first two games at the USI Baseball Field, 5-1 and 17-10. On Wednesday, the Eagles will resume the 2003 series with Brescia. USI won the first meeting of the year at 11-0 back n February and leads the series, 8-1.

The Eagles will finish the week with a three-game series Friday and Saturday at Quincy University. The Hawks begin the week with an 18-16 record, 9-9 in the GLVC. USI leads the series, 11-8, and has won four of the last six match-ups.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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