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May 01, 2008

Eagles look to get on track against Drury
USI rises to seventh in regional rankings

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 24th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team concludes the 2008 regular season when it travels to Springfield, Missouri, to play a four-game series against Drury University on Saturday and Sunday. The first pitch for each day's GLVC doubleheader is noon.

The Screaming Eagles (33-17, 21-6 GLVC) enter this weekend's action looking to improve their number seven ranking in the NCAA Division II North Central Region and get back on track after losing their last four. The Eagles must be in the top six to advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament at the end of the year.

With the GLVC Tournament next week, USI goes into the final weekend already assured of being the top seed from the West Division. The Eagles are five-and-a-half games ahead of second place Drury and six-and-a-half games in front of third place Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The top two teams from the GLVC East and West Divisions, plus two wild cards, qualify for the conference tournament.

The Panthers of Drury (26-19, 14-11 GLVC) begin this weekend's action after seeing their seven game winning streak end when they lost to Pittsburg State University, 6-5, on Wednesday. Drury has been on a roll as of late in the GLVC, winning its last six games in the league.

Drury has the advantage in the all-time series with USI, taking two-of-three games from the Eagles in last year's inaugural series.

NCAA DIVISION II NORTH CENTRAL REGION
RANK TEAM, OVERALL (IN-REGION)
1. Saint Joseph's (Ind.), 40-11 (34-9)
2. Grand Valley State, 29-11 (24-10)
3. Wayne State (Mich.), 29-12 (28-6)
4. Bellarmine, 30-16 (24-10)
5. Ashland, 32-12 (19-9)
6. Saginaw Valley State, 28-12 (23-10)
7. Southern Indiana, 33-15 (31-11)
8. Findlay, 24-19 (22-13)


Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information


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