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2007 Baseball Season Outlook 

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

The 2007 season begins a new era for the University of Southern Indiana baseball team as Tracy Archuleta takes over the program, making him the fifth head baseball coach in the history of the 37 year-old program. 

Archuleta, the 2004 GLVC Coach of the Year, comes to USI after five seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside that featured a pair of NCAA Division II Tournament appearances and a pair of 40-win seasons. UW-Parkside also advanced to the NCAA II North Central Regional title game in 2005 and was 148-124 (.544) during Archuleta's tenure.

The Pitching Staff

Although Archuleta inherits a USI squad that has struggled the last few seasons, he has an NCAA Division II top-20 pitching staff to begin the process of getting the Screaming Eagles back on track. The Eagles return 10 hurlers from a staff that had a 3.16 earned run average (ERA) in 2006.

Leading the way is a pair of senior right-handers in Adam Summers and Adam Vetter. Summers and Vetter had identical 4-3 records while producing ERAs of 2.61 and 2.81, respectively.

Vetter led the squad with 60 strikeouts, six complete games, and held opposing hitters to a .199 batting average. Summers had a staff-best 69 innings pitched and also completed five of his nine starts.

A second pair of seniors -- right-hander Aaron Clark and left-hander Brent Wendholt -- hope to step into consistent rotation roles in 2007. Clark, who had a team-best 14 appearances, was 3-5 with a 2.83 ERA, while Wendholt had a 3.44 ERA in 13 appearances and five starts.

The Eagles hope to see some of the good work that came from junior right-hander Jeremy Kehrt this summer in the New York Collegiate League (NYCL). Kehrt, who was named to the All-Star team, was 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA during the summer.

Kehrt had a 4.72 ERA as a sophomore and a 2-4 record in 10 appearances and five starts.

Also returning are senior left-hander Jerry Reecer and sophomore right-handers Dan Kissel and Michael Dewig.

Archuleta has added seven new pitchers to strengthen the staff, including a Division I transfer.

Transferring to USI from the University of Evansville is junior left-hander Cory Julian. Julian made 33 appearances at Evansville over two seasons after playing three sports for Tecumseh High School (Lynnville, Indiana). He was an All-State selection in both baseball and football at THS.

Transferring from the junior college ranks are senior right-hander Brook Meier and junior right-handers Aaron Schmitt and Nicholas Yoder. Meier had a career 1.83 ERA in two years at Illinois Valley Community College, while Yoder had 69 strikeouts in 99 innings for the College of Lake County.

Schmitt was a NJCAA All-American for Parkland Community College, the 2005 NJCAA national runner-up.

Making his collegiate debut in 2007 is freshman right-hander Trevor Leach.  Leach was an All-Conference performer at Danville High School (Danville, Indiana).

The Position Players

USI has 10 returning position players, including eight that played in 30 or more games last year. The Eagles also have added seven newcomers to give the roster depth and punch at the plate.

The USI offense starts with senior second baseman Darin Mastroianni, who led the team with a .323 batting average and 15 stolen bases. He also tied for the team lead with 23 runs scored and two triples.

Mastroianni had a tremendous summer in the NYCL. He was an All-Star and was named the recipient of the Bob Bellizzi Big Stick Award after helping the Sarasota Phillies to the NYCL title.

In addition to Mastroianni on the infield, the Eagles return juniors Sam Shahine and Josh Malone; and sophomores Alex Thieroff and Chad Bruce.

Senior Hunter Slade and sophomore Chad Werry will anchor the outfield for the Eagles. Werry followed Mastroianni with a .291 batting average and led the team with 27 RBIs and three home runs. He also tied Mastroianni with 23 runs scored.

Slade is a two-year starter in rightfield who hit .255 with a team-best 10 doubles last season for USI.

Returning in the outfield with Slade and Werry are junior Ryan Gilliland and sophomores Greg Horn and Jeremy Edwards.

Six newcomers to the squad will give Archuleta and the Eagles some options in the infield and outfield.

Transferring to USI are junior outfielder Michael Beaven, infielder/outfielder Matt Pleiss, and outfielder Bryan Rudden; sophomores Kevin O'Hair and Kevin Wolff; and freshman Keith Mercer.

Rudden was a second team All-American last season for McHenry County College (Crystal Lake, Illinois) after hitting .473 with 63 stolen bases and 33 RBIs. He also was 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA on the mound.

Beaven comes to USI from Evansville where he played in 50 games in two seasons, while Pleiss transfers from John A. Logan where he hit .336 in 42 games last year. O'Hair becomes an Eagle after a year at Iowa Western Community College, while Wolff transfers to USI from McKendree College.

Mercer returns to Evansville from Bloomington, Indiana, where he attended Indiana University, but did not play baseball.

Junior infielder/outfielder Ryan Stemple joins the team after attending USI for two years. He was a three-sport athlete at Mt. Vernon High School (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) prior to enrolling at USI.

Behind the plate, the Eagles have a pair of options. Junior catcher Garrett Oros transfers to the Eagles program after two years at Kankakee College where he hit .386 as a sophomore.

Freshman catcher Joshua Jarboe begins his collegiate career with USI. He was a two-time most valuable player in helping Connersville High School (Connersville, Indiana) to the 2006 sectional and regional championships.






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