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May 16, 2009

USI stays alive with win over Ashland
Eagles to play UIndy tonight for right to go to the title game

Box Score: Southern Indiana 8, Ashland 3


CHILLICOTHE, Ohio The University of Southern Indiana baseball team stayed alive in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional with an 8-3 elimination game victory over top-seeded Ashland University Saturday afternoon in Chillicothe, Ohio. The regional is being played at V.A. Memorial Stadium, the home of the Frontier League's Chillicothe Paints.

The Screaming Eagles were led by senior right-hander Shaun Larsen (Tell City, Indiana), who got the complete game win in his first start at USI. Larsen (7-5) settled down after a shaky first inning to go nine innings and allow only seven hits and three runs, two earned. He also struck out eight Ashland hitters.

Ashland grabbed the initial lead with a pair of first inning runs off of Larsen. The senior, who threw 150 pitches in the win, started the game by walking three of the first four Ashland batters, allowing a single and fielder's choice to drive in the two runs.


USI evened the game, 2-2, in the top of the third on a pair of hits and the aid of two Ashland errors. Senior centerfielder Royle Beach (Aurora,Colorad) scored USI's first run of the game on an RBI-single by senior leftfielder Chad Werry (New Harmony, Indiana), while junior first baseman Tyler Choate (Carmi, Illinois) scored on the same play when the ball was misplayed by Ashland leftfielder Jeff Foltz and shortstop Jason Cress.

The Screaming Eagles rallied to take the lead, 3-2, in the top of the fourth. Freshman second baseman Brad Vance (Louisville, Kentucky) crossed the plate with the lead run when sophomore third baseman Ben Griggs (Evansville, Indiana) hit into a double play.


USI sealed the victory in the sixth when Beach hit a three-run blast to give the Screaming Eagles a 6-2 advantage. The home run was Beach's first of the season and the first as a collegiate. Beach, who moved from the ninth to lead-off in the line-up today, finished the day two-for-four with two runs scored and three RBIs.

After Ashland pushed a run across the plate in the bottom half of the sixth, Choate extended the USI lead back to four with his 10th home run of the season and his second of the regional. USI increased the lead to five in the top of the ninth when Choate scored for the third time in the game and gave the game the 8-3 final. Choate ended the game against Ashland with a game-high three hits and three runs scored to go with one RBI.

USI returns to tournament action tonight at 5 p.m. (CST) when it plays the University of Indianapolis. The Greyhounds, who sent the Screaming Eagles into the elimination bracket last night with a 7-3 win, are the only undefeated team left in the regional. The winner of the USI-UIndy contest proceeds to the regional championship game Sunday at 2 p.m.(CST).

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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