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May 12, 2007

USI eliminated by Bellarmine, 9-7

Box Score: Bellarmine 9, USI 7

SAUGET, Ill.. The University of Southern Indiana baseball team was eliminated from the GLVC Tournament by Bellarmine University, 9-7, Saturday afternoon in Sauget, Illinois. USI falls to 37-21 overall, while Bellarmine goes to 29-29.

After spotting the Knights a run in the top of the first, the Eagles rallied with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. USI junior shortstop Darin Mastroianni (Huntersville, North Carolina) started the rally by walking with two outs and advanced to third when senior rightfielder Hunter Slade reached on a fielding error by the Bellarmine's shortstop Rusty Farris.

Mastroianni scored the first Eagle run when Bellarmine catcher Cameron Howell threw wildly to second when Slade stole the base. Slade, who advanced to third on the error, scored the go-ahead run on a single by junior designated hitter Josh Malone (Chesterton, Indiana).

The Eagles increased the lead to 4-1 when sophomore third baseman Alex Thieroff (Greenfield, Indiana) crossed the plate in the second and the fourth innings. Thieroff walked to lead-off the second and advanced around the bases on a stolen base and a pair of ground outs for the third USI run.

Thieroff came around the bases with the fourth run in the fourth after singling with one out. He was advanced to second on a balk, took third on a wild pitch, and scored when junior catcher Garrett Oros (Aurora, Illinois) reached on an error.

The Knights rallied with six runs in the sixth to take the lead 7-4. USI cut the margin to 7-5 in the bottom half of the inning when sophomore designated hitter Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana) scored on Thieroff's sacrifice fly.

After the Knights increased their lead to 8-5 with a tally in the eighth, the Eagles plated a pair of runs to pull to within 8-7. Thieroff scored his third run of the game on a single by junior shortstop Kevin O'Hair (Scottsdale, Arizona). O'Hair scored USI's seventh run of the game when junior first baseman Matt Pleiss (Newburgh, Indiana)singled.

Bellarmine responded with a run in the top of the ninth to re-extend the lead to 9-7. USI was only able to get runner on in the ninth before Theiroff grounded out to end the game.

Pleiss led the way for the Eagles with three hits, while Theiroff and Werry also had a pair of hits.

USI senior right-hander Adam Vetter (Crown Point, Indiana) took the loss for the Eagles, pitching six innings. Vetter (6-4) allowed seven hits and seven runs (three earned), while striking out three.

The Eagles must await word on an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II North Central Regional. The announcement will be made Monday morning.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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