The University of Southern Indiana baseball team opened the 2013 campaign with a 17-4 victory over Lake Erie College Friday afternoon at the USI Baseball Field. The game marked the first time that USI has opened the season at home since 2007.
The Screaming Eagles exploded for four runs in the second and five runs in the third to lead 9-0 after three innings. Lake Erie bounced back with three runs in the fourth and a tally in the sixth to cut the USI lead in half, 9-4.
USI's bats re-ignited in the seventh and eighth innings with four runs in each frame to seal the 17-4 win. The Eagles scored their 17 runs on 17 hits and 13 walks.
Junior leftfielder Brad Wannemuhler (Evansville, Indiana) led the USI bats, going three-for-three with two runs scored and two RBIs. Freshman centerfielder Kyle Kempf (Evansville, Indiana) had a USI-high three RBIs in his debut off a pair of hits.
USI junior rightfielder Brent Weinzapfel (Evansville, Indiana), senior catcher Colton White (Springfield, Illinois), and freshman first baseman Andrew Cope (Evansville, Indiana) joined Wannemuehler and Kempf with multiple RBIs, driving in two each.
On the mound, sophomore right-hander Ben Wright (Newburgh, Indiana) earned the season-opening win. Wright (1-0) allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings of work.
Senior left-hander Adam Carver (Arthur, Illinois) followed Wright to the mound, pitching a pair of scoreless innings, while junior right-hander Brandon Shaw (Cuba, Illinois) finished the game by pitching a scoreless ninth.
The Eagles and the Storm continue the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. before the season-finale Sunday at noon. The USI-LEC series is the start of an eight-game homestand to start the 2013 year.
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