EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Baseball snapped a three-game skid with a 16-11 slugfest victory over the University of Illinois Springfield Saturday afternoon in Springfield, Illinois. The Screaming Eagles return to the .500 mark at 5-5 overall and start conference play 1-0, while Illinois Springfield drops to 8-3 overall, 0-1 in the GLVC.
The Eagles scored 16 times on 16 hits, including a trio of home runs, to win a wild 16-11 contest. The victory also broke USI’s three-game losing streak to Illinois Springfield.
USI sophomore third baseman Lucas McNew led the Eagle hitters with a three-for-five performance with four RBI, three runs scored, a double, and a home run. McNew’s two-run home run in the sixth gave the Eagles a 9-7 lead, while his two-run double in the seventh gave the Eagles the lead for good, 12-10.
McNew was followed by senior catcher Wyatt Daly, who was two-for-five with a run scored and a grand slam that capped off the seven-run seventh and sealed the victory.
The USI offensive explosion was started by senior right-fielder Manny Lopez in the opening frame. Lopez, who was two-for-five with three runs scored and a three-run home run to jump start the Eagles’ hitters.
On the mound, senior right-hander Jordan Menfee picked up his first win in relief. Menfee (1-0) allowed three runs on one hit and a three walks in one inning of work.
Sophomore right-hander Luke Johnston, junior right-hander Brady Bowling, and senior right-hander Jacob Bowles pitched the seventh, eighth, and ninth to close out the game for the Eagles. Johnston allowed one run, while Bowling and Bowles posted scoreless frames to give USI a win to start GLVC action.
Up Next for the Eagles: -- Due to length of the opening game, the Eagles and the Prairie Star had to postpone game two to Sunday at 11 a.m. and will be a part of a doubleheader in Springfield.
Following Sunday’s doubleheader, the road trip concludes with a non-conference visit Florida when the Eagles make a stop at University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, for a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday. The Eagles trail the all-time series with West Florida, 2-0, after losing both games of a series in 2018 in Pensacola.