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March 11, 2008

Thieroff and Thomas combine to no-hit Mighty Oaks
USI sweeps doubleheader with Oakland City

Box Score: Southern Indiana 3, Oakland City 2

Box Score: Southern Indiana 7, Oakland City 0

EVANSVILLE, Ind.. University of Southern Indiana junior right-handers Alex Thieroff (Greenfield, Indiana) and P.J. Thomas (Jeffersonville, Indiana) combined to no-hit Oakland City University and complete a doubleheader sweep for the Screaming Eagles Tuesday at the USI Baseball Field. The Eagles won the opener, 3-2, and the nightcap no-hitter, 7-0.


With the sweep, USI reaches the .500 mark at 7-7 overall. OCU falls to 0-6 to start the season.

Thieroff started the game, going the first three innings and setting down all nine Mighty Oak hitters that he faced. Thomas entered the game in the fourth and retired 11 of 12 batters to complete the no-hitter.

The only OCU batter to reach base was designated hitter Kellen Higginson, who walked in the fifth and was later erased in a double play.


Thomas (2-0) was awarded the win, going four innings, allowing one walk, and striking out two. Thieroff, who struck out three in three innings, missed earning the win in his collegiate debut by one inning of work.

The no-hitter is the first by a USI staff since Adam Vetter no-hit Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2006.

The Eagle batters provided the margin of victory in the nightcap by scoring two runs in the third inning, one in the fourth, and four in the sixth. The first and only run the Eagles would need came when junior shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee) walked with the bases loaded, forcing in junior second baseman Kevin O'Hair (Scottdale, Arizona).

USI junior rightfielder Royle Beach (Aurora, Colorado) provided the highlight of the four-run sixth with a three-run double to right center. Beach was credited with two RBIs, while the third run scored on a throwing error.

In the 3-2 opening game victory, junior left-hander Patrick Crider (Owensboro, Kentucky), sophomore right-hander Casey Geiger (Albion, Indiana), and junior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) combined to one hit the Mighty Oaks.

Crider went four innings before leaving the game in the fifth with an injury. He allowed no hits, two unearned runs, and a pair of walks, while striking out two.

Geiger (1-1), who earned the win in relief, pitched two innings and allowed the one hit. Larsen pitched the final inning and struck out one to earn his fourth save of the year.

USI scored the first run of the game in the fourth, but OCU bounced back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth. The Eagles would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, 2-2, and scored the game-winner in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by O'Hair.

The Eagles return to action this weekend when they open GLVC play and host the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for a four-game series on Saturday and Sunday. The first pitch for the Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders is noon each day.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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