SPRINGFIELD, MO (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Baseball dropped a doubleheader slugfest to Drury University, 21-13 and 13-6, to open the 2019 Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule Saturday afternoon in Springfield, Missouri. The Screaming Eagles move their record to 7-7 overall and 0-2 in the GLVC, while the Panthers go to 8-8, 2-0 GLVC.
Game One: USI freshman catcher Lucas McNew (Floyds Knobs, Indiana) hit two home runs, drove five RBIs, and scored three runs in a 21-13 loss to open the GLVC schedule. McNew opened the doubleheader with a two-run shot in the first to give USI a 2-0 lead. Drury rallied to take a 6-2 lead with three in the first and second before USI dropped six runs on the Panthers in the third to lead, 8-6. The rally included a two-run homer from junior rightfielder Manny Lopez (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). The offense was hot on both sides, as Drury chased USI senior starter Austin Krizan (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) from the mound after just two innings of work, giving way to sophomore right-hander Reece Kleinhelter (Jasper, Indiana). Through four, USI held a 9-8 lead behind the home runs by McNew, Lopez, and sophomore leftfielder Aaron Euler (Evansville, Indiana). Then, Drury changed the outlook of the game with eight runs, including a grand slam, in the fifth. Kleinhelter let the first three across, ultimately handing him the loss. The Eagle bats attempted to ignite a comeback in the seventh that came up short in the end. Junior third baseman Kobe Stephens (Dale, Indiana) and sophomore centerfielder Bryce Krizan (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) each tallied an RBI, followed by a second two-run long ball by McNew to plate four runs in the frame.
Game Two: Drury scored 10 times between the fifth and seventh innings and went on to complete a sweep of USI, 13-6. USI started the nightcap off on the right foot when freshman catcher Lucas McNew blasted his third home run of the day to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. McNew’s home run would stand up through third inning when the Panthers responded with a three-run third to take a 3-1 lead. The Eagles would battle back and built a 6-4 lead after five-and-a-half innings of play. USI senior first baseman Nathan Kuester (Rockport, Indiana) ignited a three-run sixth with a leadoff home run to highlight the inning. The Panthers responded by tying the game with a pair of run in the sixth and scored six times in the seventh to take command of the game. Drury would add one more in the bottom of the eighth for the 13-6 final. USI junior right-hander Jacob Bowles (Mt. Washington, Kentucky) (1-1) took the loss, allowing six runs in the seventh on six hits and a walk. Senior right-hander Austin Gossman (Avon, Indiana) started and got the no-decision, allowing six runs, three earned on eight hits in five innings of work.
Up Next for the Eagles: The Eagles conclude the three-game series with Drury University Sunday with a noon single game in Springfield, Missouri.