University of Southern Indiana junior shortstop Matt Bowles (Mt. Washington, Kentucky) drove in freshman second baseman Kyle Niemeier (Evansville, Indiana) with the winning run in the 11th innings as the Screaming Eagles defeated Augustana University, 8-7, in the final game of the Dunn Hospitality Classic at the USI Baseball Field. The Screaming Eagles see their record go to 9-1 in 2013, while Augustana falls to 9-9.
Niemeier started the 11th with a walk and moved into scoring position by stealing second. Freshman first baseman Andrew Cope (Evansville, Indiana) was intentionally walked after junior rightfielder Brad Wannemuehler (Evansville, Indiana) flew out to put runners at first and second. Cope and Niemeier advanced to second and third on a throwing error before freshman catcher Ryan Bertram (Zionsville, Indiana) was walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Bowles.
The Eagles made it to the 11th inning by overcoming three deficits. USI trailed 1-0 after a half inning, tying the score for the first time with a tally in the sixth. Senior designated hitter Colton White (Springfield, Illinois) scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by junior second baseman A.J. Dokey (Howell, Michigan).
The Vikings retook the lead with a three-run seven to lead 4-1. The Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom half to the inning , highlighted by a two-run single by senior third baseman Reece Rounder (Evansville, Indiana), knotting the game, 4-4.
Augustana bounced back with three more in the top of the eighth to regain the lead 7-4. USI rallied from behind for the second-straight inning, tying the game 7-7 as Rounder came through in the clutch again with a two-run single. Rounder finished the game with a team-best four hits in six trips to the play, driving in the four runs.
USI escaped a two-out, two-on jam in the 10th when Wannemuehler threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning allowing the Eagles to reach the bottom half of the inning.
On the mound, sophomore right-hander Nicholas Heinz (Vincennes, Indiana) picked up his first win as an Eagle. Heinz, who was the sixth hurler of the day, pitched a perfect 11th, striking a pair of batters.
USI junior right-hander Brandon Shaw (Cuba, Illinois) started for the Eagles, allowing four hits and one run in six innings of work. He also struck out four.
The Vikings scored three runs each off senior left-hander Adam Carver (Arthur, Illinois) and sophomore right-hander Craig Austin (Evansville, Indiana), while sophomore right-hander Jay Hachmeister (Tennysen, Indiana) and sophomore right-hander Ben Wright (Newburgh, Indiana) combined to throw a scoreless three innings.
The Eagles open Great Lakes Valley Conference action on the road when they travel to Rockhurst University for a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday. Rockhurst is 4-3 to start the year.
USI leads the all-time series with Rockhurst, 12-8. The last meeting between the Eagles and the Hawks was won by USI, 5-4 in 13 innings, during the 2011 GLVC Tournament. USI also took the last season series in 2011, sweeping a doubleheader.