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2003 Baseball Season Outlook 

NCAA II Tournament: 1979, 1983, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994
GLVC Championships: 1983, 1985, 1993
GLVC Regular Season Championships: 1992, 1993

Experience. This may be the edge for the University of Southern Indiana and head coach Mike Goedde in 2003.

Goedde, USI's all-time winningest head coach with a record of 257-205 (.556) in nine seasons, has 17 returning players in 2003. The core of the 17 returners is nine seniors, five starting position players and four hurlers.

USI, which was 23-28 overall last season, also will have seven newcomers in the 2003 campaign.

The Returning Players
The five senior position players cover the first five slots in the line-up. The heart of the order is outfielder Steve Owen (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) and infielder/outfielder Justin Konopacki (Ft. Wayne, Indiana).

Owen was a second team All-GLVC performer in his first season with the Eagles, hitting .327 with a team-best 40 runs scored and six home runs. He also was second on the team in RBIs, knocking in 27. Konopacki led the squad with 38 RBIs and was second on the team with a .347 average.

Setting the table for Owen and Konopacki are senior infielder Adam Schiff (Evansville, Indiana) and senior outfielder Andy Nucci (Ft. Wayne, Indiana).

Schiff continued to be one of USI's most consistent players in 2002, hitting .324 with 38 runs scored. The three-year starter and 2001 All-GLVC second baseman is a career .314 hitter. Nucci, a 2001 All-GLVC outfielder, battled through several injuries to hit .303 with 21 runs scored as a junior.

Returning in the fifth slot is senior catcher Paul Kohler (Arnold, Missouri). Kohler, who was selected for the CICL All-Star Game over the summer, hit .336 with 21 RBIs and a pair of home runs in his first season with the Eagles. Returning to back-up Kohler is sophomore Andy Rock (West Chester, Ohio), who saw action in eight games as a freshman.

USI's top returning hitter at the end of 2002 was junior pitcher/outfielder Adam Anderson (Raleigh, Illinois). Adam Anderson, who led the team with a .386 average in 18 appearances, was the hottest Eagle at the end of the season, hitting .541 (13-24) in the final seven games of 2002. He also had a 3.86 ERA in seven innings on the mound.

Along with Adam Anderson, USI will have sophomore Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana) doing double duty. Keener, slated to pitch or play either the infield or the outfield this season, had .294 batting average and made nine appearances on the mound as a freshman.

In addition to the returning of the top five slots in the line-up, USI has a pair of sophomores that should see even more action this spring. The Eagles will look for the continued improvement of sophomore shortstop Corey Goers (LaPorte, Indiana) and outfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana).

On the mound, Coach Goedde faces his biggest challenge. He replaces three starters, including second team All-GLVC right-hander Steve Arnold.The Eagles return nine pitchers, including three that give Goedde the flexibility of also playing in the field.

USI's leader on the mound is senior left-hander Brian Anderson (Brazil, Indiana). Brian Anderson,  who leads the USI returning hurlers with a 4-6 record in 2002, had a 3.86 ERA in 86.0 innings of work as a junior. He also led the team with 60 strikeouts.

Behind Brian Anderson, the Eagles will look to senior right-hander Bowie Johnson (Brazil, Indiana) to step as a starter. Johnson had five starts in 17 appearances as a junior and produced a 3-3 record with a 6.40 ERA.

Goedde returns a strong stable of right-handed arms for 2003. 

Leading the way is junior right-hander Nathan Esche (Mt. Vernon, Indiana). Esche, who had USI's top ERA a year ago at 2.57 in 14 innings of work, posted a 1-1 record and one strikeout per inning.

Another right-handed arm out of the pen is junior Drew Neel (Newburgh, Indiana). Neel was 2-3 overall with a save in 15 appearances out of the bullpen. He averaged 1.3 strike outs per appearance while posting a 5.96 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched.

A key to the USI pitching staff will be strong performances from senior Dan Tomashek (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) and sophomore pitcher Toby Pritchard (Ft. Wayne, Indiana). Pritchard, who was a GLVC Freshman of the Year candidate in 2001, was redshirted last season with a shoulder injury. He was 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 12 games as a freshman.

From the left-side, USI has senior Joe Stanisz (Highland, Indiana). Stanisz was 3-1 with a 4.63 ERA and a save in 16 appearances as a junior. The transfer from Iowa State University also struck out 19 batters in 23.1 innings.

The Eagles picked up a transfer to add veteran depth in junior catcher/right-handed pitcher Mike Kottmeyer (Boulder, Illinois).

Kottmeyer comes to USI from Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinnois,  where he led the team with a .323 batting average. He also was 1-2 on the mound with a 3.50 ERA in 14 innings. 

USI introduces nine freshmen (a catcher, two infielders, one first baseman/pitcher, and five pitchers) to GLVC baseball in 2002.

New to the GLVC, but not USI baseball are a pair of redshirt freshmen. Freshman Jared Tekulve (Madison, Indiana)played baseball at Shawe Memorial High School in Madison, Indiana, and was All-Conference twice. Freshman freshman right-hander Matt Goans (Evansville, Indiana) played baseball at Evansville's Mater Dei High School where he was 5-2 in 2001 with a 0.31 ERA.

Fresh to the USI infield in 2003 will be freshman infielder Brent Perry (Versailles, Indiana) and first baseman/pitcher Derik Hutton (Versailles, Indiana). Both played for South Ripley High School last spring. Hutton was a perfect 8-0 in the Ohio River Valley Conference and hit .280. Perry, who hit .397 for the Cincinnati Future Stars during the summer, earned the Hitting Award as a senior at SRHS.

The new arms on the mound will be right-handers Brandon Higgs (Morganfield, Kentucky), Dustin Jourdan (Evansville, Indiana), and Pat Morgan  (Columbus, Indiana); and left-hander Nathan Arnold (Evansville, Indiana).

Higgs was an All-District performer as a junior and senior at Union County High School in Morganfield, Kentucky, while Jourdan is a local product from Reitz High School in Evansville.

Arnold follows his brother Steve onto the USI baseball program. The Harrison High School graduate has 1.94 ERA as a senior with 55 strikeouts in 54 innings.

The new hurlers could be throwing to freshman catcher Jed Davis (Grayville, Illinois). Davis, who was a freshman redshirt  with the USI men's basketball program in 2002-03, helped lead Grayville High School to the regional championship in 2002 and to the conference championship the last two seasons.


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