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May 30, 2007

USI bows out of NCAA Championship series
Eagles fall to top-ranked Spartans, 8-1

Box Score: #1 Tampa 8, #13 USI 1

MONTGOMERY, Ala.. The 13th-ranked University of Southern Indiana was eliminated from the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship by number-one ranked and defending national champion University of Tampa, 8-1, Wednesday evening at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama. The Screaming Eagles finish the year 43-23, while the Spartans advance to Friday's championship game with a 52-10 record.

USI finishes the year with a school record 43 wins. The Eagles' 20 games over .500 was the third best in the history of the program.

Tampa scored all of the runs they would need in the first inning with the aid of two USI errors. The Spartans would add two more runs in the fourth and three more tallies in the fifth to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

USI would cut into the Tampa lead in the seventh inning. Junior second baseman Darin Mastroianni (Huntersville, North Carolina) tripled to rightfield and scored on a RBI single by junior rightfielder Hunter Slade (Newburgh, Indiana). Slade finished the year with a GLVC and team-best 62 RBIs, just two short of tying the school single-season record.

Mastroianni finished the game by going three-for-four with a triple, a run scored and a stolen base to lead the Eagles. The GLVC and North Central Region Player of the Year finished the season with a school record 64 stolen bases and 97 hits. He also posted a .409 overall batting average, the best by an Eagle since the team started playing conference games with a wood bat and non-conference game with metal.

On the mound tonight, USI's top hurler was freshman right-hander Casey Geiger (Albion, Indiana). Geiger allowed just four hits and one run in 3.1 innings of relief work.

USI senior right-hander Adam Summers (Dyer, Indiana) started for USI and takes the tough luck loss. Summers (8-6) allowed four hits and four runs, just two earned, in three-plus innings of work.

Between Summers and Geiger on the mound was senior left-hander Brent Wendholt (St. Anthony, Indiana). Wendholt allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in 1.2 innings of work.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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