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May 20, 2007

Eagles win North Central crown with 1-0 victory

Box Score: USI 1, USI 0

AKRON, Ohio. The University of Southern Indiana baseball team won its first NCAA Division II North Central Regional crown with a 1-0 victory over sixth-ranked Grand Valley State University Sunday afternoon in Akron, Ohio. USI ties a school record by raising its record to 41-21, while GVSU goes to 45-9.

Darin Mastroianni, Regional MOP

The Screaming Eagles took the early 1-0 lead in fourth inning. Junior leftfielder Bryan Rudden (Crystal Lake, Illinois) scored on a triple to right-center by junior second baseman Darin Mastroianni (Huntersville, North Carolina). Rudden reached first after being hit by a pitch and advancing to second on a sacrifice by junior first baseman Matt Pleiss (Newburgh, Indiana).

The fourth concluded when Mastroianni was called out for leaving third to early on a fly ball by senior rightfielder Hunter Slade (Newburgh, Indiana).

The Eagles missed chances to extend the lead in the sixth and the eighth, leaving the bases loaded each time. The Lakers had their chances too, leaving nine runners on base.

Jeremy Kehrt

USI was led by junior right-hander Jeremy Kehrt (Plainfield, Indiana), who was credited with his sixth win of the year after blanking the Lakers for eight-plus innings. Kehrt (6-0) scattered five hits and struck out three.

Eagles' junior left-hander Cory Juilian (Lynnville, Indiana) finished the game for USI to earn his first save of the year. Julian stranded the bases loaded in the ninth to stall the Lakers' ninth inning rally attempt.

Mastroianni was named the regional Most Outstanding Player and the All-Tournament second baseman after hitting .600 with five runs scored, a RBI, a double, two triples, and six stolen bases. He was joined on the All-Tournament team by Slade, an outfielder Kehrt, a pitcher Julian, a pitcher and designated hitter Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana).

For more information about the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship series, click here . The first round opponent for the Eagles will be the champion from the South Atlantic Region on May 26.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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