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June 12, 2007

USI baseball signs five for 2008
Eagles welcome back four local players from junior colleges

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana baseball team announced the signing of five players four from the tri-state area for the 2008 season. The Screaming Eagles and USI Head Coach Tracy Archuleta have signed a total of seven newcomers in the early and late signing periods.

In the field, the Eagles have signed a pair of middle infielders from the junior college ranks in Josh Huebner (Evansville, Indiana) and Wesley Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee).

Huebner has played the last two seasons for Wabash Valley College (Mt. Carmel, Illinois) after a standout prep career at North High School (Evansville, Indiana). The former All-Metro and All-SIAC performer batted .358 with 32 RBIs and12 doubles at Wabash in 2007.

In his final year at North High School, Huebner helped the Huskies to the Indiana 4A state finals and batted .393 as a senior. He batted over .700 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and six RBIs during North's 2005 state tournament run.

Fink joins the Eagles after playing last season for Jackson State Community College (Jackson, Tennessee). He batted .297 with 35 RBIs and 13 doubles in his only season with the Generals.

Prior to playing for Jackson State, Fink began his collegiate career by redshirting at the University of Memphis in 2005. He signed with Memphis after excelling in three sports at Clarksville High School, where he batted .400 with four home runs and 38 RBIs as a senior.

Fink, who begins play at USI as a sophomore, also was named to the The Leaf-Chronicle's 2005 All-Area co-Player of the Year for baseball.

"Josh (Huebner) and Wes (Fink) give us some options in the infield," said Archuleta. "Both are capable of playing multiple positions and give us some offensive firepower at the plate."

On the mound, the Eagles have signed right-handed pitchers Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) and Derek Dever (Owensboro, Kentucky) and left-handed pitcher Patrick Crider (Owensboro, Kentucky).

Larsen and Crider continue as teammates at USI after playing for John A. Logan College. Crider was 2-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 14 games and 45.1 innings and was tied for third on the team with 42 strikeouts.

Larsen, who signed originally out of high school with Indiana State University, was 2-2 with a 2.10 ERA in 16 games and 25 innings of work, while chalking up 27 strike outs.

Dever comes to USI as a sophomore after playing for Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, Kansas) in 2006. He was 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 27 innings and 11 appearances. Dever also batted .257 in 38 games with two doubles, a triple, and nine RBIs.

"All three pitchers will be relied upon to help replace the innings from the four departing hurlers," said Archuleta.

The five new players join catcher Kyle Rowley (Indianapolis, Indiana) and infielder Eric Barnes (Evansville, Indiana) in signing with USI this year.

The Eagles finished 2007 in the final four of the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship and the North Central Regional champion with a 43-23 overall record.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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