Eagles split weekend series

Jimmy Pyles

The University of Southern Indiana baseball team split its two game series with the University of Missouri–St Louis (UMSL) on Sunday to finish up its six-game home stand. 

The Eagles won the opener shutting out UMSL 11-0, while dropping the second game 5-3.

With the Eagles splitting both of its weekend series’, the team dropped from being ranked 15th to being tied for 27th, but its record improved to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the Great Lake Valley Conference (GLVC).

In the second game, USI was edged out after being tied at 2-2 for four innings until a RBI double from UMSL putting it on top and lead the Tritons to win the nightcap.

A few things the Eagles need to focus on is its two strike approach and the need to be able to throw strikes, said head baseball coach Tracy Archuleta

The Eagles will travel for a 10-game road trip. During those 10 games, USI will face the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and Quincy.

“Being on the road is always a little bit tougher,” Archuleta said. “We just need to dig down deep and come back with series wins.”

Quincy has yet to lose in conference play making them 7-7 overall and 2-0 in the GLVC with a three-game win streak, but UIS has not won in conference play with a record of 4-10 overall and 0-4 in the GLVC.

The Eagles will look to get some hits out of senior second baseman Ryan Kaczmarski with .359 batting average and sophomore centerfielder Brad Wannemuehler going 3-4 with a double in the second game of the UMSL series.

“We are going to have a sour week of practice with this in the back of our mind,” Wannemuehler said. “We need to stay focused for weekend and go out there and get run support.”

Going into the road games the Eagles will look toward pitcher Scott Cole and pitcher Ben Wright.

Wright is coming off his first shutout game of the season against UMSL and improves his record to 4-0 on the season.

“We just need to keep them from putting up some crooked numbers,” Wright said. “We can give a team only a one run inning, then we will have a much better chance of winning.”

The bullpen does not change it approach for basically any team, he said.

“Our main focus is to throw strikes, pound the zone, and get ground balls so our defense can work for us,” Wright said. “As for Illinois Springfield we plan on going out there and throw strikes.”