EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Two of the top teams in the Missouri Valley Conference will square off this weekend at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute, Indiana, as the University of Evansville Purple Aces will do battle with the #14 Indiana State Sycamores.  The three-game series will begin on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. central time in a contest that can be seen nationwide on ESPNU.

Evansville will bring a 28-20 overall record and 14-7 MVC mark into this weekend’s series.  The Purple Aces posted their 19th victory in its last 24 games on Tuesday night with a decisive 10-0 victory over crosstown Southern Indiana.  Evansville has won six-straight MVC series in a row entering this weekend’s action.

Indiana State, meanwhile, will bring a 34-10 overall record and 17-4 MVC mark into the series.  The Sycamores are nationally-ranked in all five major collegiate baseball polls, ranking as high as #14 in the Perfect Game Top 25.  Indiana State will put a 17-series winning streak on the line this weekend, as the Sycamores have not lost a Valley series since getting swept at Southern Illinois in May of 2022.

Graduate outfielder Mark Shallenberger will lead the UE offense into this weekend’s series, as he currently paces the Valley with a .392 batting average.  Shallenberger has hit safely in each of the last nine games, launching five home runs in UE’s last six contests.  He has also reached base safely in 19-straight games entering Friday’s series-opener, and ranks fifth nationally in on-base percentage at .536.

Senior outfielder/designated hitter Kip Fougerousse posted his first multi-home run game of 2024 on Tuesday night to help UE to its 10-0 win over USI.  Graduate third baseman Brent Widder and junior outfielder Ty Rumsey also both homered for the second-straight game, as Evansville has been on a power surge lately, hitting a home run in each of the last eight contests.

Indiana State, meanwhile, is led offensively by junior designated hitter Luis Hernandez, who will bring a team-best .371 batting average into the series.  Senior third baseman Mike Sears currently paces a potent ISU lineup with 18 home runs, and he is the current MVC Player of the Week after launching three home runs last weekend to help the Sycamores sweep Belmont in a three-game series in Terre Haute.

This weekend’s series will be a rematch of the 2023 MVC Tournament final.  Evansville forced the “if necessary” final game last May with a dramatic walk-off grand slam by current graduate first baseman Chase Hug with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to post a 6-5 victory.  The Sycamores would bounce back to win the tournament title with a 6-0 victory later that night.  All-time, Indiana State holds a 115-71 advantage in the all-time series over UE.

Friday’s game can be seen nationwide on ESPNU, and streamed on-line via ESPN+.  All three games of the series can also be seen live on ESPN+ and heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS.  Freshman LHP Kenton Deverman (7-1, 3.70 ERA) will get the start in Friday’s opener for UE, and he is expected to be opposed by Indiana State LHP Jared Spencer (5-0, 3.96 ERA).