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April 27, 2009

USI will finish regular season on the road
Eagles play at KWC and Quincy this week

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 30 Poll

National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America Top 25 Poll

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The University of Southern Indiana baseball team will finish the 2009 regular season with a five-game road swing when it plays a single-game at Kentucky Wesleyan College Wednesday and a four-game series at Quincy University Saturday and Sunday.

The USI-KWC match-up is a rescheduled non-conference game from last Tuesday that was moved due to the rescheduling of the final two games of the Missouri University of Science & Technology series. The first pitch Wednesday in Owensboro, Kentucky, will be 3 p.m.

The Screaming Eagles (34-12, 19-4 GLVC, and 12-4 West Division) split a doubleheader at home earlier this season with the Panthers (13-38), taking the first game 7-2 and losing the second game, 2-1. USI leads the all-time series, 81-58.

Going into the final weekend of the conference schedule in Quincy, Illinois, USI needs one victory to clinch the GLVC West Division for the second straight season. The Eagles lead second-place Rockhurst University by four–games and third-place Missouri University of Science & Technology by six games.

Quincy (25-22, 15-8 GLVC, and 7-8 West Division), which is currently six games back of USI and in fourth, is still in the hunt to lay claim to the division's final slot in the league tournament. The Hawks start this week one-game back of Missouri S&T.

On the strength of winning seven of their last nine games, the Eagles have re-entered the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 30 Poll tied for 22nd. The only losses incurred by USI over the last two weeks have come at the hands of Division I University of Evansville and Indiana State University.

USI's latest winning surge has been led by middle of the Eagles' lineup. Junior pitcher/infielder Tyler Choate (Carmi, Illinois) leads the way with a .471 batting average, eight runs scored, five RBIs, and two home runs. He is followed by senior pitcher/third baseman Alex Thieroff (Greenfield, Indiana) and senior outfielder Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana) with .394 and .382 batting averages, respectively. Werry also has driven in six RBIs in the nine games.

USI senior centerfielder Royle Beach (Aurora, Colorado) also has caught fire the last two weeks, batting .379 which is nearly 100 points over his season average.

On the mound, senior right-handed closer Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana) and sophomore right-hander Trevor Leach (Danville, Indiana) have combined to post five of the last seven USI victories. Leach is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA recorded in the last nine games, setting the USI single-season record for wins by raising his overall record to 10-0.

Larsen has won two games the last two weeks and posted a 0.60 ERA in five appearances and 15 innings of work. He is 5-2 overall this year with a team-best 1.76 ERA.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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