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May 05, 2008

USI set to play UIndy in GLVC first round
Eagles fall to 26th in the national poll


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The 26th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team starts the 2008 post-season at noon Thursday when its plays the University of Indianapolis in the first round of the GLVC Tournament. The conference tournament is May 8-11 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois.

USI is the top seed from the West Division, while UIndy is the first wild card team. The conference tournament also includes Bellarmine University, the top seed from the East Division 17th-ranked Saint Joseph's College, the second seed from the East Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the second seed from the West and Northern Kentucky University, the second wild card team.

Tournament times are noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. daily.

The Screaming Eagles (36-18, 24-7), who are making their second straight appearance in the league tournament for the first time since 1993 and 1994, ended the regular season on a high note. USI won its final three games in taking three of four from Drury University.

USI senior first baseman Matt Pleiss (Newburgh, Indiana) led the way against Drury, batting .733 (11-15) with six runs scored, six RBIs, and three doubles in the three games. Junior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) led the hurlers, setting the USI career-record for saves with his 17th of the year on Sunday.

Larsen needs just three more saves to tie the NCAA Division II single-season record for saves.

For the season, junior second baseman Josh Huebner (Evansville, Indiana) is the Eagles top hitter with a .391 batting average, 45 runs scored, and 32 stolen bases. Pleiss is USI's top run producer with 34 RBIs, while junior rightfielder Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana) is second with 32 RBIs.

On the mound, senior right-hander Jeremy Kehrt (Plainfield, Indiana) has a team-best and a season-record tying eight victories in 2008. Kehrt, who is 8-2 overall, is second on the team with 62 strikeouts, while senior left-hander Cory Julian (Lynnville, Indiana) has recorded a team-high 65 strikeouts.

The Greyhounds of UIndy (36-19, 20-12 GLVC) start post-season action after taking three-of-four from the University of Missouri-St. Louis last weekend. UIndy also is 10-2 in its last 12 games.

The tournament game will be the first meeting of 2008 between USI and UIndy. The Greyhounds lead the all-time series, 40-32, but the Eagles took three-of-four last year, including a 10-1 win in the 2007 conference tournament.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division II Poll
Rank Team, Record

  1. Mount Olive, 49-5
  2. Delta State, 42-8
  3. Tampa, 38-9-1
  4. Emporia State, 46-7
  5. Abilene Christian, 41-14
  6. Sonoma State, 42-12
  7. Southern Arkansas, 42-9
  8. Columbus State, 39-15
  9. U.C. San Diego, 41-14
10. USC Aiken, 43-13
11. Valdosta State, 35-17
      Cal. State Chico, 37-13
13. West Alabama, 43-10
14. Tusculum, 40-13
15. Mesa State, 40-15
      Wayne State (NE), 38-10
17. St. Joseph's (IN), 41-14
18. Nebraska-Omaha, 39-11
19. Erskine, 44-9
      Catawba, 38-16
21. Quachita Baptist, 43-13
22. West Virginia State, 36-12
23. Central Missouri, 38-14
24. West Chester, 41-14
25. North Georgia, 37-19
26. Southern Indiana, 36-18
27. Western Oregon, 36-18
28. Bryant, 38-17
29. Franklin Pierce, 35-12-1
      Wayne State (MI) 30-15

Also Receiving Votes: Francis Marion (28), Cal. St. Stanislaus (26), St. Edwards (20), Metro State (10), Ashland (10), Belmont Abbey (4), Grand Valley State (4), Shippensburg (4), Bellarmine (2), Carson-Newman (2), Nova S.E. (1), Florida Southern (1), Lynn (1), Florida Tech. (1), Georgia College & State (1), N.C. Pembroke (1), Montevallo (1), St. Mary's, Tex. (1), Northern Kentucky (1).

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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