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April 13, 2004

USI baseball begins journey to GLVC Tournament Wednesday

The journey to earn a berth in the GLVC Tournament begins in earnest for the University of Southern Indiana baseball team Wednesday, April 14, when the squad travels to Bellarmine University for a noon (CT) doubleheader.

The Screaming Eagles (16-24, 10-14 GLVC) are five games out of the final tournament slot, but 14 of their final 16 league games are with the teams directly ahead of them. The one problem for the Eagles is that only four of the final 16 are at the USI Baseball Field.

USI starts with Bellarmine University (15-20, 12-12 GLVC) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Eagles, who lead the all-time series with Bellarmine, 50-45, split the first doubleheader with the Knights, losing 3-1 and winning 1-0.

The Eagles were 4-2 last week and are 6-4 in the last 10 games. Junior rightfielder/pitcher Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana) led the Eagles last week against Kentucky Wesleyan College and Oakland City University by hitting .409 with 12 RBIs, four home runs, and a 1.045 slugging percentage.

For the year, junior centerfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana) has a team high .361 average and 15 stolen bases, while knocking in 22 RBIs. Keener follows Wetzel in the batting at .343, but has a team high 35 RBIs and seven home runs.

On the mound, sophomore right-hander Mike Watson (Madison, Indiana) has a team-best 1.62 ERA to go with a 3-1 record in seven games this season. Junior right-hander Andy Rumpler’s (Hamilton, Ohio) four victories in seven appearances are best on the squad in 2004.

Bellarmine, which is currently fifth in the GLVC, is coming off of a 1-3 weekend at Saint Joseph’s College and is 5-5 in the last 10 games.

Following the Bellarmine doubleheader, the Eagles will travel to the University of Indianapolis this weekend for a four-game series Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18. The Greyhounds (16-23, 11-15 GLVC) are a step ahead of the Eagles in eighth place and host Northern Kentucky University (18-18, 11-11 GLVC) for a Wednesday doubleheader.

The Norse, who currently hold the final position in sixth, hosts USI for the in the final weekend of the season.

USI’s only remaining home games are with Saint Joseph’s College (14-19, 9-11 GLVC) Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25. The Pumas are two games back of NKU and three games ahead of USI in seventh place. SJC begins a six-game road swing Wednesday, traveling to Lewis University for a mid-week doubleheader and to Quincy University for a four-game weekend series.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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