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February 19, 2007

USI baseball home opener postponed
Games to be rescheduled for Wednesday and Thursday

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana baseball home opener scheduled for Tuesday against Oakland City University has been postponed to Thursday due to field conditions at the USI Baseball Field. The first pitch Thursday is still scheduled for 1 p.m.

In addition, the USI-OCU game scheduled for Wednesday at Oakland City has been moved to the USI Baseball Field for a 1 p.m. first pitch.

The 2007 season begins a new era for the Screaming Eagles as Tracy Archuleta takes over the program, making him the fifth head baseball coach in the history of the 37 year-old program.

Although Archuleta inherits a USI squad that has struggled the last few seasons, he has an NCAA Division II top-20 pitching staff to begin the process of getting the Eagles back on track. The Eagles return 10 hurlers from a staff that had a 3.16 earned run average (ERA) in 2006.

Leading the way is a pair of senior right-handers in Adam Summers and Adam Vetter. Summers and Vetter had identical 4-3 records while producing ERAs of 2.61 and 2.81, respectively.

Vetter led the squad with 60 strikeouts, six complete games, and held opposing hitters to a .199 batting average. Summers had a staff-best 69 innings pitched and also completed five of his nine starts.

The USI offense starts with senior second baseman Darin Mastroianni, who led the team with a .323 batting average and 15 stolen bases. He also tied for the team lead with 23 runs scored and two triples.

Mastroianni had a tremendous summer in the NYCL. He was an All-Star and was named the recipient of the Bob Bellizzi Big Stick Award after helping the Sarasota Phillies to the NYCL title.

Senior Hunter Slade and sophomore Chad Werry will anchor the outfield for the Eagles. Werry followed Mastroianni with a .291 batting average and led the team with 27 RBIs and three home runs. He also tied Mastroianni with 23 runs scored.

Slade is a two-year starter in rightfield who hit .255 with a team-best 10 doubles last season for USI.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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