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April 11, 2009

USI and Rockhurst split doubleheader Saturday

Box Score Game 1: Rockhurst 5, Southern Indiana 3

Box Score Game 2: Southern Indiana 6, Rockhurst 4


EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 22nd-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team split the first doubleheader of a four-game series with Rockhurst University Saturday afternoon at the USI Baseball Field. Rockhurst took the opener, 5-3, while USI won the nightcap, 6-4.

The Screaming Eagles take their record to 27-9 overall, 14-3 GLVC, and 7-3 in the West Division, while the Hawks go to 26-12, 12-6 GLVC, and 10-4 in the division.

USI had to come from behind to salvage the 6-4 nightcap. Rockhurst carried over its momentum from the first game and jumped out a 4-0 lead with two runs in the both the first and second innings.

The Eagles tied the game with a four-run fourth, scoring three of the runs on four straight hits. Senior rightfielder Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana) started the inning with a single and scored on a triple by junior third baseman/pitcher Tyler Choate (Carmi, Illinois), who scored on a RBI double by freshman second baseman Brad Vance (Louisville, Kentucky) to make the score 4-2.


Vance would come around to make the score, 4-3, on the fourth straight hit, a single by senior leftfielder Royle Beach (Aurora, Colorado). Beach, who got into scoring position after a sacrifice and a stolen base, crossed the plate with the tying run on a two-out single by senior first baseman Caleb Ehmke (Waterloo, Indiana).

USI rallied again in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead and add an insurance run. Choate was hit by a pitch with two outs and reached third on a Vance's second straight double. Beach knocked in Choate with the winning run on a RBI single, while Vance scored an insurance run on a wild pitch to make the score 6-4.

Sophomore right-hander Trevor Leach (Danville, Indiana) posted his team-best seventh win of the year in relief of junior right-handed starter D.J. Smith (Vincennes, Indiana). Leach (7-0) pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four hits and striking out six.


USI finished the game by going to senior right-handed closer Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana), who posted his 13th save of the season. Larsen set down all three batters he faced in the seventh to get the save.

The Eagles saw their eight-game winning streak snapped by the Hawks in the opener, 5-3. USI came back from a pair of one-run deficits in game one and took a 3-2 lead in fourth inning. Rockhurst responded with a three-run fifth to take the lead for good.

USI banged out 10 hits in the opener, but was not able to come up with the two-out hit with runners in scoring position in the fifth, seventh, and eighth. Junior shortstop Wes Fink (Clarksville, Tennessee) and senior centerfielder Chad Bruce (Fountaintown, Indiana) led the Eagles with two hits each.

Choate (6-2) took the loss in game one, despite throwing a complete game. He allowed five runs, four earned, and 11 hits, while striking out seven.

The Eagles and the Hawks will complete the four-game series Sunday with a noon doubleheader. USI goes on the road next week when its plays in the "Battle at the Braun" Wednesday against the University of Evansville and plays a four-game GLVC West series April 18-19 at Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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