Home Local Sports USI hosts SIUE in an OVC series

USI hosts SIUE in an OVC series


EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Southern Indiana Baseball hosts Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for an Ohio Valley Conference three-game set this weekend. The Screaming Eagles (19-26, 8-10 OVC) welcome the Cougars (18-25-1, 10-8) to the USI Baseball for a first pitch Friday at 6 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Saturday’s game is USI Dugout Club Day, while Sunday series finale is Bark at the Park with USI encouraging fans to bring along their “best friends” to the ballpark.
Following the weekend series, USI makes a trip across town to play the University of Evansville Tuesday at 6p.m. and start a four-game road swing that concludes with three games at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock next weekend. Links to follow the Eagles during the 2024 season can be found on USIScreamingEagles.com and on the USI Baseball Schedule.
USI Baseball Notes
Eagles fall short at SIU. The USI Screaming Eagles fell short at Southern Illinois University Tuesday in Carbondale, Illinois. Senior first baseman Tucker Ebest led the way for USI with a pair of hits, including a double, and two RBIs.
USI went 3-1 last week. The USI Eagles were 3-1 last week last week, taking a mid-week game from Belmont University, 4-3, in 11 innings at home and took two of three from Eastern Illinois University in a road/home series due to weather. Senior rightfielder Ren Tachioka led the Eagles with a .471 average (8-17), while junior third baseman Ricardo Van Grieken and junior first baseman Thomas Emerich followed by batting .467 (7-15) and .438 (7-16), respectively. Junior right-handers Carson SeemanAdam Weihe, and Gavin Seebold posted the victories for USI.
USI won 5th series of the year. USI won its fifth series of the season after taking two-of-three from EIU last weekend. The Eagles won only four series all last season.
USI manufactured a win vs. Belmont. The Eagles scored four times without the aid of a hit in the 4-3, 11 inning, win over Belmont. USI, which had eight hits in the game, used nine walks, two hit batters, and two sacrifice flies in the win.   
Van Grieken heating up. USI junior third baseman Ricardo Van Grieken has been heating up the last five games. Van Grieken has raised his batting average 25 points over the last week (.189 to .214) by hitting .389 (7-18) in the last five games. He also has scored five runs, driven four more, and banged three doubles.
Kapust the surprise hitter this spring. Senior catcher Tyler Kapust, who has played nearly as many games this season (24) as he has the first three seasons (31), is having a career year at the plate. Kapust is hitting .283 (17-60) this season, compared to the .188 career average (10-53) he entered the season with. He also has a career-high eight RBIs and one home run.
Comes down to pitching. USI’s 19 wins in 2024 (year two of the Division I transition) are two victories better than last season with 11 regular season games to play and a lot of this year’s improvement has come down to pitching. The Eagles have a 5.87 ERA, 1.83 better than last season’s 7.70 ERA and the lowest since 2021.
One run games. The Eagles are battle tested in close games this spring, playing in nine one-run games, going 2-7, and 10 two-run games, going 4-6.
USI in the OVC. USI is tied for seventh in the OVC standing (8-10) after winning the series and tiebreaker with EIU. Senior outfielder Ren Tachioka leads USI at the plate in conference play, batting .418 (23-55). Senior first baseman Tucker Ebest has a team-high 17 RBIs in league action and is tied with senior designated hitter Jack Ellis with team-best three home runs in OVC play.
USI in non-conference. In the 26 non-conference games, senior outfielder Ren Tachioka leads the Eagles with a .366 average (30-82), while senior first baseman Tucker Ebest has a team-high 26 RBIs. Ebest also is tied with senior designated hitter Jack Ellis with a team-best four home runs outside of the OVC. Four pitchers have a team-best two victories each in the non-conference schedule.
Season leaders at the plate in 2024. Senior outfielder Ren Tachioka is hitting a team best .387 (53-137) in 35 of the 45 games, while senior designated hitter Jack Ellis and senior infielder/designated hitter Tucker Ebest have hit a team-high seven home runs. Ebest has driven in a team-best 43 RBIs.
Leaders on the mound in 2024. USI junior right-handers Gavin Seebold has recorded a team-best six wins this season (6-2). Freshman right-hander Grant Parson and junior right-hander Gavin Morris follow with three wins each, while Parson also has a team-high 51 strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Clayton Weisheit leads USI hurlers with a team-low 3.27 ERA in 33.0 innings this season.
At home versus the road. USI, as a team, is hitting .289 at the home (20 games), compared to .271 on the road (23 games). Senior rightfielder Ren Tachioka is hitting a team-high .420 at the USI Baseball Field, but team-high .359 on the road. On the opposite side, junior outfielder Adam Euler is batting .314 on the road, compared to .130 at the USI Baseball Field.  
Multi-hit/Multi-RBI Games. USI junior centerfielder Terrick Thompson-Allen leads the Eagles with 20 multi-hit games (18 with 2; 2 with 3), followed by senior outfielder Ren Tachioka has 17 (11 with 2; 5 with 3; 1 with 4). Senior first baseman/designated hitter Tucker Ebest has a team-high 13 multi-RBI games. Niehaus has the top RBI game with five versus Southeast Missouri State University.
In the OVC statistically. USI as a team is third in the OVC in pitching with a team 5.83 ERA and fifth in the league in hitting with a .279 team batting average. Junior right-hander Gavin Seebold is tied for second in the OVC with six wins and sixth in with a 4.12 ERA, while freshman right-hander Grant Parson is seventh with a 4.25 ERA and seventh with 51 strikeouts.
In OVC Games Only. USI is fourth in the league with a .296 team batting average for OVC games only, but sixth with a 6.20 team ERA.
SIUE in 2024. The Cougars of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are 18-25-1 overall and 10-8 in the OVC this season. The 10-8 record puts the Cougars in a five-way tie for second in the OVC. SIUE is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games.  
USI vs. SIUE. The Cougars lead the all-time series with USI, 58-45, after taking two of three from the Eagles last spring.
UE in 2024. The Aces are 25-19 overall in 2024 and will play a three-game series with Valparaiso University this weekend. UE also is 16-4 in the last 20 games after starting 9-15.         
USI vs. UE. Evansville leads the all-time series with USI, 33-20, but the Eagles won the last meeting in 2018, 5-3.