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March 14, 2009

USI sweeps non-conference doubleheader with UWP

Box Score Game 1: Southern Indiana 2, Wisconsin-Parkside 0

Box Score Game 2: Southern Indiana 5, Wisconsin-Parkside 1


EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana baseball team started a nine-game homestand with a non-conference doubleheader sweep of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Saturday afternoon at the USI Baseball Field. USI won the opener, 2-0, and the nightcap, 5-1.

The Screaming Eagles raise their record to 11-5 overall, while the Rangers fall to 0-15.

The Eagles won their seventh in a row behind the shutout pitching of junior right-handed starter Tyler Choate (Carmi, Illinois) and senior right-handed closer Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana). Choate (3-1), who threw no-hit ball for 6.2 innings, scattered three hits and struck out 11 batters in eight-plus innings of work to get the win.

Larsen closed out the ninth for the Eagles to record his fifth save of the season. He allowed a walk and stranded two runners in the ninth.


USI senior first baseman Caleb Ehmke (Waterloo, Indiana) manufactured the Eagles' first run and the only run they would need with two outs in the fifth inning. He walked, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch when Choate walked.

The Eagles would get an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee) started the mini-rally with a triple to rightfield and scored one batter later on a sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Alex Thieroff (Greenfield, Indiana).

In the nightcap, USI junior right-hander D.J. Smith (Vincennes, Indiana) gave the Eagles their eighth straight win with a complete game victory. Smith (2-0) allowed two hits and one run, while striking out six batters in seven innings of work.

The Eagles drew first blood with a run in the second inning when senior rightfielder Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana) scored on a failed pick-off attempt at second base. Werry had doubled down the leftfield line with one out to get into scoring position.


USI sealed the victory with four runs in the third inning. Freshman second Brad Vance (Louisville, Kentucky) started the rally with a one-out double down the leftfield line and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a RBI single by Ehmke.

After Ehmke was thrown out trying to steal second, Choate doubled and Fink was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. They came around to make the score 4-0 on Thieroff's two-run triple. Thieroff finished off the third inning rally by scoring on a RBI double by Werry to give USI a 5-0 lead.

The score remained the same until the top of the seventh when UW-Parkside scored its only run of the doubleheader for the 5-1 final.

Werry had the best day at the plate for the Eagles, going three-for-seven in the doubleheader with a run scored and two doubles, while three other USI players had two hits each. Thieroff was USI's top RBI producer with three.

The Eagles and the Rangers complete the four-game non-conference series with a doubleheader Sunday at noon.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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