EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -The preseason 31st-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team begins the 2020 campaign with a three-game neutral site series versus Davenport University Friday and Saturday in Hoover, Alabama. The three-game set, which will be played at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex, is scheduled for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Friday and a 1 p.m. single game Saturday.
The Screaming Eagles, who were 30-21 overall a year ago, follow their trip to Alabama with six-straight at the USI Baseball Field to start the 2020 home schedule. USI is slated to host Trevecca Nazarene University February 21-22 and Ashland University February 28-March 1 for a pair of three-game series.
Coverage of the Screaming Eagles baseball games this season can be found on GoUSIEagles.com.
SCREAMING EAGLES BASEBALL NOTES #1:
Eagles ranked to start the season. USI starts the year ranked 31st in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top 40 poll. The Eagles also received votes for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Top 25.
Eagle Watching. Senior outfielder Manny Lopez was listed as a Player to Watch in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Lopez batted .328 with 44 RBIs and nine home runs in 2019.
National Championship always the goal for Eagles. The Eagles have made a habit of competing in the NCAA II Championship over the last 13 seasons. USI has made eight NCAA II Midwest Regional appearances; won five Midwest Region crowns (2007, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018); and captured 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 476-257 in 13 seasons and is 624-381 in 18 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. The top returning Eagle bat is sophomore catcher/infielder Lucas McNew, who finished 2019 with a team-best .341 average and 46 RBI in 48 games. McNew also tied for second with nine home runs and was second with 14 doubles. Junior outfield Aaron Euler led the Eagles in the long ball category with 10.
Returning Season pitching leaders. The Eagles return nine hurlers from last year’s staff. Senior right-hander Tyler Hagedorn had USI’s top ERA last spring at 4.17, while senior right-hander Austin Gossmann tied for first with five victories and was second with 64 strikeouts. Eagles vs. Davenport. USI and Davenport will be meeting in baseball for the first time in program history.
Davenport in 2019. Davenport was 32-18 in spring of 2019, advancing to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals after entering the tournament as the third seed.
Courtesy: USI Athletics