EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -The preseason NCBWA 15th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team opens the 2019 home schedule this weekend when it hosts the Dunn Hospitality Classic at the USI Baseball Field. The classic features USI, Grand Valley State University, 23rd-ranked Ohio Dominican University, and Truman State University with two games Friday, three on Saturday, and two on Sunday.
The Screaming Eagles are slated to play a 2:30 p.m. single game Friday versus Ohio Dominican; a 1:30 p.m. doubleheader with GVSU; and a 2:30 p.m. single game Sunday against Truman State.
Coverage of the Screaming Eagles baseball games this season can be found on GoUSIEagles.com.
SCREAMING EAGLES BASEBALL NOTES:
USI nationally in the polls. USI was ranked 15th in the first regular season poll by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). The Midwest Region also was represented by the University of Illinois Springfield at number six and Ohio Dominican at number 23.
Hunter named GLVC Player of the Week. USI sophomore shortstop Ethan Hunter was named the GLVC Player of Week after hitting .455 (5-11) in the three games at the University of North Georgia. He also scored four times, posted five RBIs, and blasted a pair of home runs in the first two games.
Eagles ranked in both preseason polls. USI began 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.
Very few home games this month. The four USI games in the Dunn Hospitality Classic are the only home games for the Eagles until the middle of March when they host Lewis University for a GLVC three-game series. USI will be on the road or at a neutral site for the next 10 games after this weekend’s classic.
Archuleta at USI. USI Head Coach Tracy Archuleta is USI’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 447-237 in 12-plus seasons and is 586-381 in 17-plus 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.
Hitting Leaders. Sophomore shortstop Ethan Hunter led the USI hitters in the North Georgia series with a .455 average, while junior rightfielder Manny Lopez followed with a .364. Hunter also led the Eagles with five RBIs, while Lopez and senior first baseman Nathan Kuester tied for second with four RBIs each.
USI vs. Ohio Dominican. USI won the only meeting with Ohio Dominican, defeating the Panthers in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional championship game last spring, 9-7.
USI vs. Grand Valley State. USI leads the all-time series with Grand Valley State, 12-7 after splitting two games during the Dunn Hospitality Classic last spring, losing 4-3 and winning 9-1. The Eagles have won six of the last nine meetings since the 2014 season.
USI vs. Truman State. USI and Truman State have split the 14 games in the series between the two teams, 7-7. The last season the two teams played was in 2016 when the Eagles and the Bulldogs split a pair of games in the Dunn Hospitality Classic with USI winning, 14-13 in first game, and Truman taking the second meeting, 3-2.
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.
Courtesy: USI Athletics