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April 08, 2009

USI outlasts Bellarmine, 11-8

Box Score: Southern Indiana 11, Bellarmine


EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 22nd-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team won its eighth in a row by outlasting Bellarmine University, 11-8, Wednesday afternoon at the USI Baseball Field. The Screaming Eagles raised their record to 26-8 overall, while the Knights fall to 21-14.

In a back-and-forth game, USI scored four times in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good, 11-8. The inning was highlighted by a RBI ground-rule double by junior shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee) and a two-RBI double by senior third baseman Alex Thieroff (Greenfield, Indiana).

Thieroff, who tied the game, 2-2, in the first inning with a two-run blast, finished the game three-for-three with two runs scored, and four RBIs. The first inning home run was Thieroff's team-best eighth of the season.

With the teams knotted in a 2-2 tie after the first inning, USI took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the second. Freshman second baseman Brad Vance (Louisville, Kentucky) broke the tie with a RBI-single, while senior first baseman Caleb Ehmke (Waterloo, Indiana) upped the margin to 5-3 with a two-run double to right field.


The Knights bounced back with a five-run third to take a 7-5 lead. Bellarmine chased USI sophomore right-hander Trevor Leach (Danville, Indiana) with a pair of two-run home runs in the inning. Leach, who was in search of a team-best seventh win, allowed eight hits and seven runs, five earned, in 2.2 innings of work.

The USI bullpen -- senior right-hander Michael Dewig (Haubstadt, Indiana), junior right-hander Cody Brandenstein (Evansville, Indiana) and senior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) came on to save the day for the Eagles.

After Dewig got the Eagles out of the third and allowed a run in the fifth, Brandenstein (2-1) took the mound in the sixth and pitched three scoreless innings to get his second victory of the season. Eagles' senior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) finished the game for USI and posted his 12th save of the year by pitching a perfect ninth inning.

The Eagles return to action Friday and Saturday when they host Rockhurst University for a four-game conference series at the USI Baseball Field. The Hawks come to Evansville with a 25-11 overall record and a GLVC West-leading 9-3 mark.

USI trails the all-time series with Rockhurst, 7-5, but took three of four from the Hawks in Kansas City, Missouri, last spring.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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