UE News and Notes for May 15, 2013

—Recruiting is a funny thing. Forty-eight hours ago, UE’s men’s basketball team had two scholarships open with the NCAA’s signing period running down. The Aces’ staff needed guards — one a shooter and one a slasher — but a number of options had committed elsewhere. All those problems solved themselves when The Rock (Fla.) School’s Christian Benzon and Padua Franciscan (Ohio) High School’s Tyler Ptacek both committed on Tuesday.

—The signing period does end today. Benzon confirmed with me that he’ll sign and send his binding letter of intent to UE (look for an interview with him here later). No word yet from Ptacek, but you can assume the same. After all paperwork is processed, coach Marty Simmons can announce the new recruits and discuss them with the media. That may happen today or later this week.

—The two additions give Simmons a full 13 scholarship players heading into a season for the second year in a row, assuming there will be no transfers. He accomplished it for the first time in his tenure at UE when the Aces added Egidijus Mockevicius in August 2012, and the team stayed in place until forward Jordan Jahr transferred midseason. There is only one walk-on back from last year’s team — rising sophomore Mike Leazer — so the Aces could add there as well.

—UE’s baseball team dropped its home finale and second game this season to Western Kentucky by a 7-6 score Tuesday night at Braun Stadium. The Aces led by five runs before the Hilltoppers rallied in their half of the sixth inning, which started with four straight singles and a sacrifice bunt before UE coach Wes Carroll lifted starting pitcher Cole Isom. The bullpen was good from there, allowing just one more run after the sixth, but the Aces’ offense couldn’t put together a comeback of its own.

—UE wraps up the regular season at 6 p.m. today with a road game against SIU Edwardsville. The Aces are done with Missouri Valley Conference play, and at 10-10 in the league, won’t be affected by the last round of weekend series left before they go into next week’s double-elimination tournament as the No. 5 seed.

—The Indianapolis Star’s Mark Ambrogi published another intriguing story — this one the enterprise look — at what area seventh grader Katlyn Gilbert’s commitment to the UE women’s basketball team means. Essentially, Gilbert doesn’t have to fret over finding another scholarship offer. She’s committed to UE’s staff — coach Oties Epps in particular — and should Epps leave UE before Gilbert heads to college, she would follow with her commitment to the next stop.

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