USI Starts Post-Season Play Thursday

first_img The 24th-ranked University of Southern Indiana baseball team starts the 2017 post-season with the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament May 11-14 at U.S. Ballpark in Ozark, Missouri. The Screaming Eagles (32-17), who enter the tournament as the top seed from the East Division, begin tournament action against William Jewell College (21-25), the fourth seed from the West Division, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.Prior to the USI-WJC match-up on Thursday, the first round of the GLVC Tournament features the University of Illinois Springfield (31-18), the East’s third seed, versus Quincy University (17-10), the West’s second seed, at 9 a.m.; Bellarmine University (33-17), the East’s second seed, versus Missouri University of Science & Technology (26-21), the West’s third seed, at 12:30 p.m.; and Drury University (33-17), the West’s top seed, versus the Saint Joseph’s College (32-18), the East’s fourth seed, at 4 p.m.Live coverage of the Screaming Eagles baseball games this week can be found on, while GLVC Tournament information, including the bracket, ticket information, and directions to U.S. Ballpark, can be found at EAGLES BASEBALL NOTES:USI versus the GLVC Tournament Field. USI is 11-7 against the 2017 GLVC Tournament Field (1-2 vs. Drury; 2-2 vs. Bellarmine; 3-1 vs. Illinois Springfield; 2-1 vs. Quincy; and 3-1 vs. Saint Joseph’s). The Eagles are hitting .277 as a team versus the field, led by senior designated hitter Jaylen Quarles‘ .355 average. Junior leftfielder Drake McNamara drove in a team-best 13 RBIs against the tournament field, followed closely by sophomore catcher Logan Brown and junior shortstop Sam Griggs with 12 and 11 RBIs, respectively.On the mound, senior right-hander Lucas Barnett was 4-0 against the field with a 0.84 ERA, while junior right-hander Kyle Griffin struck out a team-best 43 batters in games versus the field.USI in the GLVC Tournament. USI is 41-38 in the GLVC Tournament since 1980, winning the conference tournament championship in 1983, 1985, 1993, and 2010. The Eagles went undefeated in the tournament during 1985, 1993, and 2010.USI climbs national polls. The Screaming Eagles climbed into the Collegiate Baseball/ABCA Top 30 at number 24. USI also was ranked 20th last week in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 25.USI on a roll the last 2 weeks. The Eagles have won eight of their last nine games, winning a road game at Kentucky Wesleyan College; sweeping the University of Indianapolis at home; and taking three of four from Saint Joseph’s on the road. Junior leftfielder Drake McNamara led the team with a .429 batting average, while junior shortstop Sam Griggs drove in a team-best 15 runs.Eagles win GLVC East. USI won the GLVC East Division outright by taking three of four from Saint Joseph’s on the final weekend of the regular season. The Eagles, who clinched the East title on the final day for the second-straight year, finished with a two-game lead over Bellarmine.USI perfect at home in the GLVC with third sweep. The Eagles were a perfect 12-0 at home this season in the GLVC that included three conference sweeps.Leading the way in the GLVC, NCAA II. USI ranks first in the GLVC and 10th in the NCAA Division II with a 3.17 ERA. The hurlers also lead the GLVC and are eighth nationally with a 3.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio.The difference of a month. The Eagles went 21-5 in May and April with the team hitting .293 and posting a 2.43 ERA, compared to 11-12 in February and March with a team batting average of .259 and a 3.88 ERA. Senior designated hitter Jaylen Quarles has seen the biggest turn around amongst the players, going from .154 (3-19) in nine games during February/March to .388 (26-67) in 22 of the 26 games during April and May. On the mound, junior right-hander Kyle Griffin went from 2-3 with a 5.25 ERA to start the year to 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA in the last six weeks.Season hitting leaders. Junior designated hitter/leftfielder Drake McNamara (.360), senior designated hitter Jaylen Quarles (.337), junior first baseman Nathan Kuester  (.302), and sophomore infielder Jacob Fleming (.300) are the Eagles hitting over .300  this season. McNamara leads USI with a team-best seven home runs and 42 RBIs.Season pitching leaders. Senior right-hander Lucas Barnett has the Eagles’ best ERA among the starting pitchers with a 2.18 ERA in 12 games, 11 starts, and 70.1 innings of work. Barnett, senior right-hander Colin Nowak, and junior right-hander Kyle Griffin all have six victories, while Griffin recorded a team-high 86 strikeouts in 12 games.Griffin posts single-game high; season record. Junior right-hander Kyle Griffin struck out a season-high 12 batters versus Saint Joseph’s and set a USI single-season record with 86 strikeouts this season. Griffin broke the record of 84 set by Jonathon Wandling during USI’s run to the national championship in 2014.Archuleta at USI. USI Head Coach Tracy Archuleta is USI’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 410-209 (.662) in nine-plus seasons and is 558-333 (.626) in 14-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 2016. Archuleta also has earned a pair of GLVC Coach of the Year awards (2011 and 2014) at USI. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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