Eastern baseball begins their “World Series”

Sean Hastings, Staff Reporter

The Eastern baseball team played in an intrasquad game at Coaches Stadium on Wednesday.

The matchup consisted of a gray team and blue team, splitting the Panthers’ roster up evenly and playing a normal nine-inning game.

The gray team came away victorious 5-0 over the blue team in what the Panthers consider their version of the World Series.

Eastern coach Jim Schmitz said he was really happy with how junior Brendan Alle, who came from Jefferson College, pitched for the blue team.

Allen threw four shut out innings, which is what the team and the coaching staff were looking for from him.

Also impressing Schmitz was junior Jake Johansmeier, who also did not give up any runs in his innings of work.

Johansmeier is the only main starting pitcher from last year’s team that is returning.

The Panthers lost their top three pitchers from last season’s team, in Matt Borens, Joe Greenfield and Troy Barton. Barton and Greenfield were lost to graduation and the New York Yankees drafted Borens in the 11th round.

So, Eastern is relying on pitchers like Allen, Johansmeier and some freshman, in Ben Hughes, Luke Dietz and Andy Fisher.

The Panthers also lost catcher Jacob Reese to graduation, who will be replaced by senior John Devito, who played for the blue team Wednesday.

“We lost Jacob Reese, so that was a big question mark, but John Devito did a great job back there, he’s going to bat eighth or ninth, he’s going to block balls and (Wednesday) he was sensational,” Schmitz said.

Devito had one of six hits for the blue team on the day.

The Panthers are also dealing with injuries, like junior Demetre Taylor, who hurt his foot the other day. Overall, Schmitz said he is happy with how things went especially the performance from Allen on Wednesday.

For the gray team, senior Caleb Howell got two hits in his four at-bats, including a single and an RBI triple late in the game.

Also contributing to the scoring was senior Brant Valach who had a double off the wall and a single driving in a run going 2-for-4 as well.

Junior Jason Scholl also scored a run on a throwing error for the blue team off a single by sophomore Frankie Perrone.

Overall, hitting is what needs the biggest improvement Schmitz said, but he is pleased with the way the defense played and knows that the hitting will come.

The Panthers will play game two of their World Series Friday at Coaches Stadium.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]