EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -The preseason 15th/24th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team begins the 2019 campaign and Midwest Region title defense with a three-game series at the University of North Georgia February 15-18 in Dahlonega, Georgia. First pitch Friday is slated for 3 p.m. (CST); Noon (CST) Saturday; and 11 a.m. (CST) Sunday.
The Screaming Eagles, who were 36-23 overall and the 2018 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional champion in 2018, follows their trip to Georgia with the annual home opening Dunn Hospitality Classic February 22-24 at the USI Baseball Field. The 2019 Dunn Hospitality Classic features USI, Truman State University, Grand Valley State University, and Ohio Dominican University
Coverage of the Screaming Eagles baseball games this season can be found on GoUSIEagles.com.
SCREAMING EAGLES BASEBALL NOTES:
Eagles ranked in two polls to start the season. USI begins the season ranked in both of the preseason polls. The Eagles are 15th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top 40 poll and 24th in in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Top 25.
Away from home to start the season. The Eagles will spend a lot of time away from the USI Baseball Field to start the year, playing 14 of the first 18 games on the road or at a neutral site.
National Championship always the goal for Eagles. The Eagles made their eighth appearance in the Midwest Regional in the last 12 seasons and their 14th appearance overall in the NCAA II Tournament last spring. USI has won the Midwest Regional five times (2007, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018) and the NCAA II National Championship twice (2010, 2014). The USI program tied for third in the 2007 NCAA II National Championship series, while finishing fifth in 2016 and eighth in 2018.
Archuleta at USI. USI Head Coach Tracy Archuleta is USI’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 445-236 in 12 seasons and is 584-380 in 17 seasons all-time as a head coach. He has been named the ABCA Division II Coach of the Year twice (2010 and 2014) after leading the Screaming Eagles to a pair of national championships and the ABCA Division II Midwest Region Coach of the Year after leading USI to the regional crown in 2007, 2016 and 2018. Archuleta also has earned a pair of GLVC Coach of the Year awards (2011 and 2014) at USI.
Returning hitting leaders. Senior second baseman Jacob Fleming is the leading returning hitter for the Eagles, batting .302 during 2018 and .302 during the first three years of his career, while sophomore centerfielder Bryce Krizan follows with a .296 average and a team-high 44 stolen bases during his first season last spring.
Season pitching leaders. Senior right-hander Austin Krizan is USI’s top returning starting pitcher in 2019 after posting a 3-4 record and a 3.99 ERA, while striking out 63 batters last spring. Krizan starts the year ranked 14th all-time in strikeouts and 18th in victories during his USI career.
Eagles visit North Georgia. USI is visiting North Georgia for the first time in program history. The Eagles are 24-50 all-time in the State of Georgia and versus six different programs (0-1 vs. Young Harris; 0-6 vs. Columbus State; 1-0 vs. Savannah State; 1-3 vs. Georgia College; 11-20 vs. Augusta; and 11-20 vs. Armstrong Atlantic).
Courtesy: USI Athletics