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March 21, 2009

USI sets school record with 13 straight wins
Nightcap loss snaps streak

Box Score Game 1: Southern Indiana 2, Drury 1

Box Score Game 2: Drury 10, Southern Indiana 6


D.J.
Smith

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 25th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team split a doubleheader with Drury University Saturday afternoon at the USI Baseball Field, but not before establishing a new team record with 13 straight victories. USI set the record with a 2-1 win in the opener, but lost the nightcap, 10-6.

The split takes the Screaming Eagles to 16-6 overall, 6-1 GLVC, and 2-1 in the West Division, while the Panthers go to 14-10, 5-2 GLVC, and 1-2 in the division.

The Eagles received strong pitching from junior right-hander D.J. Smith (Vincennes, Indiana) and senior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) and produced just enough offense to win the 13th in a row.

Smith (3-0) scattered four hits and allowed an unearned first inning run, while striking out five in six innings of work. Larsen finished the game for the Eagles, allowing a hit and striking out one in recording his seventh save of the season.

At the plate, the Eagles had to come-from-behind for the fifth game in a row. USI junior shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee) tied the game in the bottom of the first with an RBI single to score senior first baseman Caleb Emhke (Waterloo, Indiana). Ehmke had reached on a double to start the game for USI.

USI scored the game winner in the fourth when senior catcher Nate Noland (Henderson, Kentucky) singled home freshman leftfielder Chase Holzmeyer (Haubstadt, Indiana) to make the score 2-1. Holzmeyer had worked his way into scoring position with a one-out single and a stolen base.

In the nightcap, the Eagles' bullpen could not hold onto a 6-1 lead as the Panthers rallied with nine unanswered runs to win 10-6 and break USI's school record winning streak.

USI started well in the second game, jumping out to lead by five after three innings. The Eagles scored two in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Fink and a RBI single by junior designated hitter Alex Thieroff (Greenfield, Indiana) to lead 2-0.

After the Panthers cut the Eagles' lead in half in the top of the second, USI responded with a four-run third innings. The four-run third was highlighted by a three-run home run by Thieroff, who would finish game two by going three-for-three with four RBIs

On the mound, the Eagles' bullpen allowed eight runs, seven earned, in 5.1 innings of work with freshman right-hander Shad Macke (Evansville, Indiana) taking the loss in relief. Macke (0-1) allowed the game winner and two hits in one-third of an inning to take the loss.

Preceeding Macke to the mound was junior right-hander Trevor Leach (Danville, Indiana), who started; sophomore right-hander Cody Brandenstein (Evansville, Indiana); and junior right-hander Casey Geiger (Albion, Indiana). Larsen followed Macke only to see the Panthers finally catch-up with the senior right-hander, who allowed three runs, two earned.

The Eagles and the Panthers complete the four-game non-conference series Sunday with a noon single game.


Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information


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