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2006 Baseball Season Outlook 

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

The University of Southern Indiana baseball team will have a new look when the Screaming Eagles take the field in 2006.

Head Coach Mike Goedde starts the 2006 campaign with 14 returning players – six position players and eight pitchers. Of the six position players, four were starters at the end of last year.

While returning few experienced position players, the Eagles all-time winningest coach – Goedde begins the season with a record of 330-296 (.527) in 12 years – has a wealth of pitching experience. The eight hurlers combined for 18 of USI’s 26 wins in 2005.

“Our coaching staff is excited to work with this group in 2006,” said Goedde. “(the coaching staff) knows the lack of experience is evident, but we feel the physical ability of this young group is as good as we have ever had.

“The squad will have to learn a lot about itself in a short time with only five non-conference games prior to initiating the drive toward a GLVC championship,” continued Goedde. “We will have two seniors in our everyday line-up which could be combined with as many as three freshmen, three sophomores, and a junior.”

The Returning Players
A trio of right-handed starting pitchers leads the way for the Eagles in 2006.

Junior Adam Summers was USI’s top pitcher a year ago, posting a career-best 7-2 record. Summers also was second on the team with a 3.53 ERA after pitching a team-high 79 innings. He struck out 36 opposing hitters in his 18 appearances.

Summers was followed in the win column by junior Adam Vetter. Vetter posted a career-best 5-4 record with a 5.24 ERA in 10 appearances and 44.2 innings of work. He also was fourth on the team with 24 strikeouts.

The Eagles hope to have senior Mike Watson return to the same form he exhibited during his sophomore season. Watson was 2-1 and tied for second on the team with 36 strikeouts in 52.1 innings of work, but saw his ERA balloon to 6.19.

During his first year, Watson was 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 58.1 innings of work.

USI’s top reliever in the bullpen a year ago was senior lefthander Nathan Arnold. Arnold led the team with five saves in 18 appearances and had a 3.68 ERA in 14.2 innings of relief. He is expected to move into the starting rotation this year.

Arnold was followed out of the pen by junior right-hander Aaron Clark, who was second on the staff with three saves. He also had a 4.76 ERA and a 1-0 record in 14 appearances and 11.1 innings.

The Eagles expect added contributions from senior right-hander Dustin Jourdan; sophomore right-handers Jeremy Kehrt and Matt Nichols; and redshirt freshman Dan Kissel.

Kehrt had a 1-4 record and a save as a freshman, making 12 appearances out of the bullpen and one start. He was fifth on the team with 17 strikeouts.

Jourdan led the team by holding the opposing team to a .188 batting average in his five appearances, while Nichols was 1-1 in 10 trips to the mound as a reliever.

“I like the experience of our pitching staff,” Goedde said. “Several pitchers have been through the rigors of college baseball and are ready to make the jump to being a major contributor and provide excellent results.”

Five returning players provide the foundation for the team this spring.

Junior outfielder Hunter Slade is USI’s top returning hitter and only starting outfielder. Slade hit .284 with 26 RBIs, 12 doubles, and 19 runs scored in 52 games as a sophomore. He was even better during GLVC action, batting .301 with 21 RBIs in 37 games.

To compliment Slade, the Eagles have to replace a pair of All-GLVC performers in Matt Keener and Noah Wetzel. Keener and Wetzel were four-year starters in the outfield and were one and two in hitting with a combined .358 batting average and 59 RBIs.

The Eagles will be replacing two full-time starters and four part-time starters in the field

Returning to play first base is sophomore Josh Malone, who played 20 games at first base during his first season. Malone, who also saw playing time in five games at third base, batted .230 with 10 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 106 plate appearances.

Sophomore Sam Shahine comes back for his second season after starting 30 games at third base a year ago. Shahine, who played in 40 games overall as a freshman, hit .241 overall, .257 in the GLVC. He also scored 15 runs and knocked in nine more.

USI’s most experienced position is behind the plate where the Eagles return seniors Jed Davis and Chris Turner. Turner, who caught 25 games during his first year with USI, hit .226 with 15 runs scored and 13 RBIs. Davis, who caught the USI hurlers in 27 games, batted .207 with 11 runs and nine RBIs.

The Transfers
The Eagles have four talented transfers that provide instant experience and depth.

The top candidate for the second base slot is sophomore Darin Mastroianni. Mastroianni, who transferred to USI this fall from Winthrop University (Rock Hill, South Carolona), batted .458 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs as a senior at Fox Lane High School (Mt. Kisco, New York) as a senior in 2003.

Sophomore Ryan Gilliland and freshman Greg Horn join the Eagles’ outfield. Gilliland departed Muscatine Community College (Muscatine, Iowa) after hitting .244 in 35 games with 14 runs and 11 RBIs in one season. Horn came to USI from Eastern Michigan University after redshirting in 2005.

Horn hit .458 with nine home runs as a senior at Plainfield High School (Plainfield, Indiana). He hit 21 career home runs during his tenure with PHS.

The Eagles also bring in a pair of hurlers from the junior college ranks in junior left-handers Brent Wendholt and Jerry Reecer. Wendholt transferred this fall from Vincennes University (Vincennes, Indiana) after posting a 5-4 record and a 4.03 ERA in 2005, while Reecer comes to USI after spending a year at Redland Community College (El Reno, Oklahoma) and a year at Southwestern Community College (Creston, Iowa).

Nine freshmen – three pitchers and six position players – begin their collegiate careers in 2006.

On the mound, freshmen right-handers Michael Dewig, Adam Thomas, and Ed Parry join the staff this spring.

Thomas finished his career at Plainfield High School by posting a 3-2 record and a 1.24 ERA in 34 innings of work. He also struck out 39 batters in 2005.

Dewig was the top hurler at Gibson Southern High School (Ft. Branch, Indiana), leading the team in ERA and strike outs on the mound and home runs at the plate. Parry, who comes to USI after five years in the U.S. Marine Corp, played for Harrison High School (Evansville, Indiana).

Competing for spots in the infield is Alex Thieroff and Chad Bruce.

Bruce helped New Palestine High School (New Palestine, Indiana) to the Indiana 3A Tournament finals in 2003 and the state championship in 2004. He batted .363 as a senior last year, scoring 38 runs and driving in 19 RBIs.

Thieroff was an All-Hoosier Heritage Conference and an All-County player at Mt. Vernon High School (Fortville, Indiana).

Catcher/infielders Kirby Dunagan and Ryan Reed will be fighting for playing time behind the plate or in the field. Dunagan was a two-time All-Conference performer and honorable mention All-State selection in 2004 and hit a career-best .430 as a sophomore in 2002.

Reed was named All-Hoosier Crossroads Conference and All-Hamilton County twice at Hamilton Southeastern High School (Fishers, Indiana).

The outfield will see the addition of Jeremy Edwards and Chad Werry.

Edwards hit .345 as a senior with eight doubles, four home runs, and 23 RBIs at Terre Haute South High School (Terre Haute, Indiana). He also was 4-3 with a 4.33 ERA with 38 strike outs on the mound.

Werry, who also could see time in the outfield, earned 12 letters in three sports at New Harmony High School (New Harmony, Indiana). He had a .455 career-batting average, knocking 96 RBIs and hit 21 home runs during his four seasons.

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