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March 27, 2008

USI starts four-game series at SIUE Friday

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana baseball team goes on the road for the first time since February when it travels to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to play a four-game GLVC series. The Screaming Eagles and the Cougars start with a 7 p.m. single game on Friday, followed by a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, and a noon single game on Sunday.

The Eagles (15-8, 6-1 GLVC) are coming off a successful 13-4 homestand and have won 11 of their last 12 games. USI finished the homestand by sweeping a non-conference doubleheader from Kentucky Wesleyan College, 8-3 and 2-0, on Wednesday.

USI junior second baseman Josh Huebner (Evansville, Indiana) has been the Eagles top hitter this season and during the homestand. He is batting .436 overall in 2008, but has hit a blistering .548 in the last 12 games.

Huebner is followed by senior first baseman Matt Pleiss (Newburgh, Indiana), who is batting .410 overall and a red hot .524 over the final 12 contests in the homestand. Pleiss and Huebner are tied for second on the team with 16 RBIs this season.

The top run producer for the Eagles is sophomore shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee). Fink, who has raised his season batting average over 100 points to .313 in the last 12 games, has a team-high 20 RBIs and three home runs.

On the mound, USI senior right-hander and GLVC Pitcher of the Week Jeremy Kehrt(Plainfield, Indiana) is the team's wins leader with a 4-1 overall record. Kehrt is followed in the win column by junior right-hander P.J. Thomas (Jeffersonville, Indiana) and sophomore right-hander Casey Geiger (Albion, Indiana) with 3-0 and 3-2 records, respectively.

Geiger has USI's top ERA at 1.61 in 12 appearances as a reliever and a starter, while junior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) has recorded a team-best seven saves. Larsen's seven saves are one short of the USI single-season record of eight set by Rob Bower in 1999.

The Cougars of SIUE (10-9, 4-4 GLVC) are 4-4 with a pair of rain outs in their last 10 games. USI trails the all-time series against SIUE, 55-41, but has won six of the last eight meetings with the Courgars after winning three of the four meetings in 2007.

After the series at SIUE, USI concludes the five-game road swing with a single game at Kentucky Wesleyan College on April 1. The Eagles return to the USI Baseball Field April 5-6 when they host Missouri University of Science and Technology for a four-game series.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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