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April 03, 2009

USI blasts by Lewis to open series

Box Score: Southern Indiana 13, Lewis 3


EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 29th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team used six home runs to blast its way to a 13-3 win over Lewis University to start at three-game series Friday afternoon in Romeoville, Illinois. USI takes its record to 23-8 overall and 11-2 in the GLVC, while Lewis falls to 13-13, 2-7 GLVC.

The win is the fifth straight for the Screaming Eagles and pulls USI to the .500 mark on the road at 5-5.

The Eagles started their long ball barrage with a solo shot by senior first baseman Caleb Ehmke (Waterloo, Indiana) to give USI a 1-0 lead. The margin was increased to 5-0 in the sixth on a solo home run by junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Choate (Carmi, Illinois) and a three-run blast by junior centerfielder Brad Mangold (Evansville, Indiana).

After the Flyers got onto the scoreboard with a single tally in the bottom of the sixth, USI responded with pair of runs of its own to take a 7-1 lead on Choate's RBI triple and junior shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee) crossing the plate on a passed ball in the top of the seventh.

Lewis tried to get back into the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, scoring twice. USI answered with a four-spot in the top of the eighth to make the score 11-3, starting with the first home run of freshman second baseman Brad Vance's (Louisville, Kentucky) collegiate career. The Eagles got the next three runs on back-to-back home runs by Ehmke and Choate.

Ehmke hit his second round tripper of the game with a man aboard, while Choate's shot was his second solo blast of the contest.


The Eagles concluded the scoring in the top of ninth when Choate doubled in two more runs to give USI a 13-3 lead. Choate finished the day by going four-for-four with two runs scored, five RBIs, a double, a triple, and two home runs at the plate.

On the mound, Choate (6-1) was nearly as good in recording his team-best sixth win of the season. He allowed three runs, one earned, and nine hits, while striking out five in eight innings of work.

USI freshman right-hander Zach Binder (Rushville, Indiana) finished the game on the bump, allowing two runners on a hit by pitch and a fielder's choice.

USI and Lewis conclude the three-game series Saturday with a noon doubleheader in Romeoville. The Eagles return to the friendly surroundings of the USI Baseball Field Tuesday when they host Bellarmine University for a 1 p.m. non-conference contest.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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