EVANSVILLE, Ind. –  For the first time in his collegiate career, University of Evansville senior pitcher Shane Harris captured Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week honors on Monday, after helping UE post its first shutout of the 2024 season on Sunday in a 9-0 victory at Valparaiso.
Harris anchored UE’s first shutout since last May on Sunday by tossing a career-high 7.0 innings on the mound, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out a career-best eight men.  Of the 21 outs that Harris recorded, 18 of them were either on the infield or via the strikeout, and after allowing a lead-off double to begin the game, Harris retired 14 of the next 15 Valparaiso hitters in order.  He allowed just two base-runners to advance past second base on the afternoon.
With the shutout, Evansville improved to 27-20 overall and 14-7 in the MVC.  The Purple Aces will return home briefly on Tuesday night to host crosstown rival Southern Indiana in a mid-week contest.  First-pitch is set for 6 p.m.  Both teams will enter the game red-hot, as Evansville has won 18 of its last 23 games overall, while USI (22-26) has won seven of its last 10 games.
Offensively, Evansville is led by graduate outfielder Mark Shallenberger, who will bring an MVC-leading .391 batting average into Tuesday night’s game.  Shallenberger has hit safely in each of his last eight games, while also owning an 18-game on-base streak.  USI, meanwhile, is led offensively by senior outfielder Ren Tachioka, who will bring a team-best .400 batting average into Tuesday’s game.  He currently ranks second in the OVC in hitting with his .400 average.
On the mound, Evansville will turn to freshman left-hander Kevin Reed (3-1, 6.96 ERA) against the Screaming Eagles.  Reed is coming off his best start of the year, as he tossed a season-high 6.0 shutout innings in UE’s 7-6 win at OVC co-leader Southeast Missouri State last Tuesday.  Reed, Harris and fellow starters Kenton Deverman and Donovan Schultz all posted “quality starts” (6.0 innings pitched or more and three or fewer earned runs) for UE last week in its four games, and combined, UE’s starting staff posted a 1.44 ERA last week.
Tickets are currently on sale in the UE athletic ticket office, and can be purchased by contacting Logan Belz by phone at 812-488-2623.  Tuesday’s game can also be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and seen live on ESPN+.