The Viking Report (April 16)...

April 16, 2007

Contact: Brian McCann

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Baseball Hosts UW-Milwaukee For Pipe Yard Stadium Dedication Game...
Vikings Have Won Five of Seven In April To Equal 2006 League Win Total

The Cleveland State baseball team (9-23, 6-5 HL) travels to Youngstown State on Tuesday (April 17) and Pittsburgh the next day before hosting a three-game series versus UW-Milwaukee starting on Friday (April 20) at Pipe Yard Stadium. The game against the Panthers is CSU's dedication game at its new field, with the a fireworks show slated following the game and the first 500 fans receiving commemorative seat cushions. The Vikings conclude the week with a doubleheader versus UWM on Saturday (April 21) at noon.

"Our pitching has kept us in ballgames, and we've started to see more success now that we're in our conference schedule," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "But we're not satisfied and we've still got a long way to go to compete at the level that we want to be."

The Vikings have won five of their seven games in April, including three of their first four at home. CSU began last week by sweeping a doubleheader at Youngstown State on Tuesday (April 10) by 3-2 and 6-4 scores before dropping a 5-2 decision at Niagara the next day. The Vikings then won two of three against Butler at home over the weekend, winning the first two games (3-0, & 3-2) before losing the series finale (4-2). Sophomore Josh Hungerman and senior Stephen Procner each notched victories against the Bulldogs and sophomore Michael Babin picked up a pair of saves.

Procner and Hungerman have been CSU's leaders on the mound, helping the Vikings to a 4.74 team ERA (compared to 8.02 last year). Procner is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA and leads the Horizon League in starts (9), innings pitched (67.1) and batting average against (.215). He had pitched three consecutive nine-inning appearances before working 8.2 innings against Butler on Saturday (April 14). Hungerman is 2-4 with a 3.05 ERA.

Senior John Westra is the team's leading hitter, posting a .291 batting average with a team-leading 18 RBI. Junior Wallace Richardson is batting .290 and leads the team with a .435 slugging percentage.

Softball Hosts Loyola As Part Of Busy Week...
Vikings Play Six Games, Including Senior Day Matchup With Loyola On Saturday

Unable to get into any kind of rhythm because of Mother Nature, the softball team (19-8, 2-4 HL) will attempt to play six games this week. The Vikings are slated to travel to St. Francis (Pa.) for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday (April 17) before playing a single game at Kent State the following afternoon at 3:30 p.m. CSU will then host league-leading Loyola in a three-game Horizon League set over the weekend. Saturday (April 21) will feature a Senior Day twin bill beginning at 1:00 p.m., while Sunday's single game will begin at noon.

"Our offense is great until we get runners in scoring position and then the hits seem to dry up," head coach Angie Nicholson said. "If we are going to be successful the rest of the season, that has to change."

Cleveland State split its four games last week, winning both contests at IPFW on Tuesday (April 10), before losing twice in the seventh inning to Wright State on Saturday (April 14) at Viking Field. Sophomore Christa Coppus paced the CSU offense with a .429 average (6-for-14) while scoring three times and driving in three. In the circle, junior Christina Swierz tossed her first career shutout in a 7-0 blanking of IPFW. The Vikings also had three contests canceled due to the continued poor weather.

Women's Golf Travels To Chicago. . .

After a two-week break, the women's golf team returns to action at the 36-hole Loyola Invitational on Monday and Tuesday (April 16-17) at the par 72, 6,200-yard Pine Meadow Golf Course in Mundelein, Ill. The relatively small field is comprised of fellow Horizon League schools Butler and Loyola, as well as IPFW and Northern Illinois. Sophomore Ashley Davidson finished in a tie for ninth at last year's event, as the Vikings came in fourth as a team.

"This tournament is our final tune-up before the league championship," head coach Brian Varsey said. "As bad as the weather has been lately in Cleveland, it will be nice to finally get out and play some golf as we build towards the finish."

Men's Tennis Closes Regular Season Slate With An Eye On The Record Book. . .

The Cleveland State men's tennis team (16-6, 3-0 HL) is aiming at history this weekend, heading into the season's last two dual matches with a chance to tie the school record with 18 regular season wins. The Vikings will attempt to equal the mark, which was set in 1989, in matches against defending Horizon League champion Butler on Saturday (April 21) at 10:00 a.m. and UIC at 10:00 a.m. the next day at Malaga Tennis Center.

"We have been playing well and making progress toward the league championship," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "And now that we've locked ourselves into the top three in the league, we have a chance to compete for the title."

The Vikings downed UW-Green Bay, 4-3, this past weekend, giving CSU its first regular season win versus the Phoenix under Etzkin. Freshmen Phil Orno and Ryan Hamning and sophomore Rob West won singles matches to clinch the victory after CSU had begun the contest by winning the doubles point. Four of the team's six starters are over .500 in singles play, led by Hamning's 26-10 ledger at No. 3 singles followed by West at 21-8 in the sixth spot. Hamning and Orno lead the Vikings in doubles play with a sparkling 24-6 record at No. 1 doubles.

Women's Tennis Hosts Butler & Detroit...

The Cleveland State women's tennis team (13-9, 4-1 HL) will attempt to improve its league championship seeding in the final weekend of the regular season with dual matches versus Butler on Saturday (April 21) and Detroit on Sunday (April 22). Both matches will begin at approximately 2:00 p.m. at the Malaga Tennis Center.

"We have a chance this weekend to really put ourselves in a good position for the league championship," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We gave a great team effort last weekend in Wisconsin and hopefully that gives us momentum heading into the final weekend of the season."

CSU dominated its two matches against UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay last weekend, shutting out the Panthers, 7-0, before downing the Phoenix by a 6-1 decision. The Vikings won 11 of 12 singles matches and went 6-0 in doubles play in the two victories. Five of six Vikings won both of their singles matches, with senior Sarah Galon, junior Jenn Myers and sophomore Kristin Chamberlain each winning in straight sets. Galon leads the team with a 23-11 record at No. 1 singles, followed by freshman Charlotte Gibbons (19-11 at No. 2 singles) and Myers (14-7 at No. 4 singles). Myers and Chamberlain have also teamed in doubles action, leading CSU with an 8-2 mark at No. 3 doubles.

Viking High Fives

Ben Grandy - The senior earned Horizon League Golfer of the Week accolades on April 11 after recording his fourth consecutive top-15 finish, carding a four-over par 146 to earn a tie for 14th at the Marshall Invitational on April 6-7.

Ryan Hamning & Phil Orno - The freshmen each won singles matches in CSU's key 4-3 win at UW-Green Bay last weekend. Hamning leads the team with 26 wins while Orno is third with 18 victories. The duo also owns a 24-6 mark as a doubles combo.

Stephen Procner - The senior pitcher allowed just four runs in 17.2 innings last week, picking up league wins over both Youngstown State and Butler. He struck out 14 and walked just three to raise lower his ERA to 3.61.

The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings

April 16 (Monday)
Women's Golf at Loyola Invitational
Mundelein, IL

April 17 (Tuesday)
Softball at St. Francis (PA) (2)
Loretto, PA, 3:00 p.m.

Baseball at Youngstown State
Niles, OH, 7:00 p.m.

Women's Golf at Loyola Invitational
Mundelein, IL, All Day

April 18 (Wednesday)
Softball at Kent State
Kent, Ohio, 3:30 p.m.

Baseball at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA, 5:00 p.m.

April 20 (Friday)
Baseball hosts UW-Milwaukee
Lorain, Ohio, 5:05 p.m.

April 21 (Saturday)
Baseball hosts UW-Milwaukee (2)
Lorain, Ohio, 12:00 noon

Softball hosts Loyola (2)
Viking Field, 1:00 p.m.

Men's Tennis hosts Butler
Malaga Courts, 10:00 a.m.

Women's Tennis hosts Butler
Malaga Courts, 2:00 p.m.

April 22 (Sunday)
Men's Tennis hosts UIC
Malaga Courts, 10:00 a.m.

Women's Tennis hosts Detroit
Malaga Courts, 2:00 p.m.

Softball hosts Loyola
Viking Field, 12:00 noon