The University of Southern Indiana baseball team opened the 2020 campaign Friday with a doubleheader split against Davenport University at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex, taking the season-opener, 8-6, before dropping the nightcap, 10-1.
The Screaming Eagles (1-1) were led at the plate with a three-for-six afternoon from sophomore outfielder Austin Moody, including a pair of triples, two RBI, a run scored and a walk. Sophomore infielder/catcher Lucas McNew also tallied three hits, with two in the opener, including an RBI-double.
Senior pitcher Tyler Hagedorn picked up the day’s first decision in relief, with three innings pitched and three strikeouts.
Game One: USI 8, Davenport 6
Senior right-hander Austin Gossmann took the first start of the season for the Eagles. The Avon, Indiana-native did not register a decision despite collecting four strikeouts over six innings pitched, allowing three runs, just one earned.
USI answered the Panthers’ (1-1) second-inning pair with a bases-loaded walk by Moody, tallying his first RBI as an Eagle by scoring junior first baseman Aaron Euler. The Eagles tallied six walks total in the game, three to this point in the contest. The Panthers’ scoring came from what was eventually Gossmann’s earned run on a fielding error, followed by a fielder’s choice.
Moody returned to the plate to tie the game, 2-2, in the fourth with his first collegiate hit, a triple in the left-centerfield gap, to score senior catcher Wyatt Daly. The ensuing groundout to second from sophomore leftfielder Bryce Krizan scored Moody to take a 3-2 lead into the fifth.
Both teams began trading runs in the sixth inning. Gossmann left the game after the sixth in a 3-3 deadlock before Euler crossed the plate a second time. Hagedorn was dinged early on in his relief appearance for a pair of runs in the seventh inning before the Eagles put together a four-run bottom half of the frame.
Down 5-4, senior shortstop Kobe Stephens scored on a double off the bat of McNew, who was then pushed home by a single from senior designated hitter Manny Lopez. Junior second baseman Ethan Hunter capped the scoring with a single to right, scoring Daly and Lopez with help from a Panther’s fielding error.
Davenport added one final run on an RBI-triple in the ninth before Hagedorn shut the door for good. The 8-6 final tally earned the Evansville-native his first victory of 2020, and the eighth of his career, with three punchouts in three innings of relief.
Game Two: Davenport 10, USI 1
Freshman centerfielder Steven Molinet picked up his first collegiate hit with a leadoff triple to open the second game, scoring on a subsequent groundout from Stephens. The Eagles did not carry the 1-0 lead for long, however.
Senior pitcher Paul Perez took the mound for Friday’s B-side, though it was short-lived; the righty was chased from the mound after allowing four runs in the second inning before getting the hook, leaving men on first and second with one out for sophomore reliever Sammy Barnett. The Panthers added one final blow in the stanza as Davenport’s Travis Harve belted a three-run home run to left field scoring both inherited runners, closing Perez’s line with six runs on three hits and four walks.
The Panthers added three more runs before the end of the night, picking up one more on Barnett before the end of the fourth, while the other two came from a triple allowed during freshman infielder/reliever Trent Robinson’s three innings to conclude the game. The Louisville-native racked up five strikeouts in his relief appearance.
USI Baseball returns to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex tomorrow for the rubber match with Davenport. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. CT.
The Eagles make their way back to Evansville February 21 to begin a home-opening three-game set against Trevecca Nazarene University at the USI Baseball Field.