EVANSVILLE, Ind. –  The University of Evansville baseball team returns to Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend, as the Purple Aces head to Peoria, Illinois for a three-game series against the Bradley Braves.  The series kicks off on Friday night at 6 p.m. in a game that can be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and can be seen live on ESPN+.

Evansville will bring a 19-17 overall record and 7-5 MVC mark into this weekend’s series after knocking off Indiana, 5-4, on Tuesday night.  The Purple Aces will bring a five-game winning streak into this weekend’s series, and UE has won nine of its last 10 games overall.  Evansville is currently in a four-team tie for second-place in the MVC standings entering the weekend, three games back of league-leading Indiana State.

This weekend’s series will mark the return to Peoria for UE junior infielder Cal McGinnis.  McGinnis began his collegiate career at Bradley, and was a career .262 hitter for the Braves over 78 games the past two seasons.  McGinnis transferred to Evansville in the off-season, and he has taken off while at UE, as he will bring a .321 average, eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 20 RBI into this weekend’s series.  McGinnis has already posted single-season career-highs for hits, doubles, triples and RBI this year at UE.

McGinnis is part of a UE offense which will bring a .295 team batting average into this weekend’s series.  The Purple Aces rank seventh in NCAA Division I baseball this year with 94 doubles, and UE is just one double shy of last year’s season total of 95, which was set in 61 games.

Bradley will bring a 10-24 overall record and 4-8 MVC mark into this weekend’s series.  The Braves will be trying to snap a six-game losing streak in Friday’s series opener, after dropping mid-week contests at Eastern Illinois and Iowa this week.  The Bradley offense is led by one of the league’s top newcomers in sophomore infielder Beau Durbin.  Durbin currently ranks fourth in the Valley with a .376 batting average, nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 16 RBI.  Senior catcher Logan Delgado is not far behind in average at .333.

All-time, Evansville leads the series with Bradley, 63-45.  Last year, UE won two out of three games from the Braves, and since 2019, UE leads the all-time series over Bradley, 10-2.

Evansville will send freshman LHP Kenton Deverman (4-1, 3.98 ERA) to the mound for Friday’s opener.  Bradley has not yet officially announced a Friday starter, but right-hander Noah Edders (4-4, 5.30 ERA) has been the typical Friday starter for Bradley this year.