DAHLONEGA, GA (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana baseball team split its doubleheader with University of North Georgia Saturday afternoon in Dahlonega, Georgia. The Screaming Eagles completes the first weekend of action in the 2019 season with a 2-1 mark, while the Nighthawks go to 7-2 this spring.
Game 1: The Eagles scored in five of the nine innings on their way to a 7-4 victory in the first game Saturday. USI senior second baseman Jacob Fleming (Evansville, Indiana) posted three doubles, two runs scored, and a RBI to lead the way. USI sophomore shortstop Ethan Hunter (Terre Haute, Indiana) hit his second home run in as many days to provide the power for the Eagles and finished the opener with two hits and two RBIs. Junior rightfielder Manny Lopez (Santo Domingo, D.R.) rounded out the multi-hit players with a pair of hits, while senior first baseman Nathan Kuester (Rockport, Indiana) added a pair of RBIs in the win. On the mound, senior right-hander Austin Gossmann (Avon, Indiana) picked up the win in his USI debut. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out two in 4.1 innings of work. Junior right-hander Paul Perez (Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela) also made his debut for the Eagles, closing out the game to get his first save of the season.
Game 2: USI scored all three of its runs in the third inning, tying the Nighthawks at that point in the contest. Junior outfielder Zach Pate (Evansville, Indiana) was the only Eagle to reach base multiple times, by way of two walks. The three-run third frame started with a Hunter single, who was then scored by sophomore outfielder Bryce Krizan (Mt. Vernon, Indiana). Lopez forced an error at first base to score Krizan and move Fleming, also on base due to a fielding error, into position for a Kuester sacrifice fly. Senior southpaw Chase Partain (Evansville, Indiana) was charged with the first loss of the season for USI from the hill. He went 4.2 innings, struck out four, allowed four earned runs and six hits. Sophomore righty Reece Kleinhelter (Jasper, Indiana) relieved Partain, struck out two over four outs. Freshman right-hander Garrett Welch (New Castle, Indiana) made his debut from the pen to start the eighth inning, allowed two unearned runs to reach the final of 6-3.
Next up for the Eagles: The Eagles open the 2019 home schedule next week when they host the Dunn Hospitality Classic at the USI Baseball Field. This year’s classic features USI, Truman State University, Grand Valley State University, and Ohio Dominican University. USI is slated to play Ohio Dominican Friday in the home opener at 2:30 p.m.; a doubleheader with GVSU Saturday 1:30 p.m.; and Truman State Sunday at 2:30 p.m.