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2004 Baseball Season Outlook 

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

A new look University of Southern Indiana baseball team will take to the field in 2004.

USI Head Coach Mike Goedde started the 2004 campaign at the end of the 2003 season by recruiting 14 new players to replace eight graduating seniors that included five starting position players and three pitchers The Eagles all-time winningest coach with a record of 281-232 (.548) over 10 seasons will have the challenge of combining the newcomers with his 18 returning players in 2004.

The Returning Players
The Screaming Eagles return a pair of All-GLVC performers -- junior outfielder Noah Wetzel (New Salisbury, Indiana) and junior utility player Matt Keener (Newburgh, Indiana) -- to lead them into 2004.

Wetzel was named second team All-GLVC after raising his batting average 47 points as a sophomore to .278 and leading the Eagles with 24 stolen bases. Keener, who played three different positions for the Eagles, also was named to the league's second team as a designated hitter.

Keener was third on the team in hitting with a .307 batting average while recording a 2.76 earned run average  and a 4-1 record on the mound.

Returning to join Keener on the mound for USI is senior right-hander Drew Neel (Newburgh, Indiana). Neel continued to improve for the Eagles in 2003 as he recorded a 4.91 ERA and a 2-4 record in 15 appearances. He also threw USIís first no-hitter since 1994 in the Eaglesí victory over Brescia last season.

In addition to Neel, the Eagles will be counting on contributions from six more returning hurlers. Returning for the 2004 season are senior right-handers Mike Kottmeyer (Boulder, Illinois) and  Nathan Esche (Mt. Vernon, Indiana); sophomore right-handers Matt Goans (Evansville, Indiana), Dustin Jourdan (Evansville, Indiana) and  Pat Morgan (Columbus, Indiana); and sophomore lefthanders Nathan Arnold (Evansville, Indiana) and Derik Hutton (Versailles, IN).

Last season out of the bullpen, Goans and Arnold  were USI's most reliable relievers. Goans was 2-2 as a freshman, recording a 4.95 ERA, while Arnold had a 5.14 ERA in seven appearances.

In the outfield, Wetzel will have two new partners in 2004 with the graduation of  All-GLVC performers Steve Owen and Andy Nucci. The first option for Goedde and the Eagles will be senior Adam Anderson (Raleigh, Illinois). Anderson will be focusing on a fielding position this season after splitting time between the mound and the field during his first two years with USI.

He finished 2003 with USI's best batting average for the second year in a row, hitting .386 in 20 games and 44 at-bats.

On the infield, the Eagles will start with junior shortstop Corey Goers (Newburgh, Indiana). Goers continued to improve at short, raising his fielding percentage 11 points over his freshman season, while hitting three home runs in the ninth spot of the order.

The Eagles also will count on seeing Keener at first base. Not only did the junior hit and pitch the ball well, but he posted a .988 fielding percentage in 28 starts at first base. When Keener is on the mound, the Eagles could look to junior Toby Pritchard (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) or sophomore Derik Hutton (Versailles, Indiana) at first base.

Pritchard batted .258 with 17 RBIs in 25 games, splitting time between first base and the mound, while Hutton hit .233 in 16 contests

USI fans will see new faces at second and third base. Gone from last season's infield are third baseman Justin Konopacki and two-time All-GLVC second baseman Adam Schiff, who was USI's second bagger the last four seasons.

A candidate at second base is sophomore Jared Tekulve (Madison, Indiana). Tekulve hit .200 and had a perfect fielding percentage in 13 games.

At third, the Eagles could take a look at Konopacki's understudy from last spring, sophomore Brent Perry (Versailles, Indiana). Perry hit .236 in 21 games with nine RBIs.

Behind the plate the Eagles return three players in Kottmeyer, junior Andy Rock (West Chester, Ohio) and freshman Jed Davis (Grayville, Illinois). Kottmeyer was number two on the depth chart in 2003, backing up Paul Kohler and  playing in 17 games behind the plate.

With the graduation of a combined 32 seasons of collegiate experience after 2003, the Eagles picked up eight transfers to add veteran depth to the roster.

In the field, Goedde added senior infielder Adam Stone (Mt. Vernon, Indiana),  junior infielder Bryan Davis (West Chester, Ohio), and sophomore outfielder Tyler Ford (Fishers, Indiana). Stone comes back to the tri-state after playing at Shawnee Community College and Tennessee Tech University.

Davis transfers to the Eagles after two seasons at Rend Lake College, where he hit .346 with 33 RBIs last season. Ford joins the squad after one season at Glen Oaks Community College.

Behind the plate the Eagles added junior catcher Trevor Kelly (Marshall, Michigan). Kelly, who also can play first base, hit .418 during his sophomore season at Kellogg Community College and began his collegiate career by hitting .398 as a freshman.

On the mound, the Eagles added three junior right-handed pitchers in Jae Fadde (West Lafayette, Indiana), Andy Hurt (Jasper, Indiana), and  Andy Rumpler (Hamilton, Ohio); and one sophomore in right-hander Mike Watson (Madison, Indiana). Fadde joins Davis in transferring from Rend Lake after striking out 31 batters in 44 innings in 2003.

Rumpler travels north from Columbia State Community College in Tennessee where he recorded a 3.59 ERA last spring, while Hurt comes across the Wabash River after two seasons with Wabash Valley Junior College. Watson, who could be swinging at pitches as a designated hitter as well as throwing them as a pitcher, joins the Eagles after a season at the University of St. Francis where he also played football.

In 2004, USI will introduce a freshmen class to the collegiate game that is heavily laden with pitching.

Throwing from the right side the Eagles have added Fred Moore (Terre Haute, Indiana), Adam Summers (Dyer, Indiana), Aaron Clark (Madisonville, Kentucky), and Adam Vetter (Crown Point, Indiana), while Shaun Dennin (South Bend, Indiana) will be the class'  lone left-hander.

Dennin, Summers, and Vetter  travel south from the northern part of Indiana. Summers, who could potentially see time in the USI infield,  was a first team All-Area selection in 2003 at Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana. Dennin, who may see time in the USI outfield, recorded 130 strikeouts as a junior and senior for John Adams High School in South Bend, Indiana.

Vetter was honorable mention All-State and an Indiana North All-Star as a senior when he was 10-1 with a 1.55 ERA in 2003.

Moore comes to USI from central Indiana, throwing last season for Terre Haute (Indiana) South High School. He hit .390 and had a 1.90 ERA as a senior, following up a junior year that saw him post a 0.64 ERA, the second lowest in Terre Haute South history.

Traveling north from Kentucky is Clark. Clark, an honorable mention Academic All-State performer, led Madisonville-North Hopkins High School last spring with a 10-2 record and a four-to-one strikeout to walk ratio.

The Eagles also added a freshman position player in outfielder Jeff Stinson (Evansville, Indiana).  A native of Evansville, Stinson comes to USI from North High School where he hit .431 with 28 RBIs and 21 runs scored as a senior.


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