Panthers host Salukis for first home game

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

The Eastern baseball team heads into Wednesday’s home game at Coaches Stadium against Southern Illinois Carbondale on a 17-game losing streak.

Ohio Valley Conference opponent Jacksonville State recently swept the Panthers in a 3-game series.

After losing game one 6-4, the Panthers fell in the final two games, 5-4 and 4-2.

Wednesday marks the first home game for the Panthers, where they had a record of 9-8-1 last season.

Eastern has not won a game all season and will be looking for its first win against a struggling Southern Illinois team.

The Salukis have a record of 3-19 on the season and were just swept by Wichita State in a 3-game series.

Southern Illinois has a team batting average at .233 and has struck out 140 times this season in 22 games.  The Salukis are averaging just fewer than three runs a game.

The Salukis are led by sophomore catcher Jake Hand, who is hitting .278 this season. He has 22 hits in 79 at-bats, including two doubles and eight runs scored.

Saluki red-shirt senior pitcher Aaron Hauge leads the team with a 2.41 earned run average and has a 2-2 record. Hauge has started six games this season, pitched 37.1 innings and struck out 34 batters.

Freshman infielder Greg Lambert is second on the team with a batting average of .273. Lambert has 21 hits in 77 appearances and one home run on the season.

The Salukis have a team ERA of 6.76 and has allowed 156 runs this season.

The Panthers had a rough past week, after being swept by Memphis, they lost a game to nationally-ranked Mississippi State.

Red-shirt junior Demetre Taylor led the team with a .500 batting average during the week. He also drove in five runs and leads the team with a .331 average over the course of the season.

Taylor ranks 18th nationally in triples per game.

Junior pitcher Jake Johansmeier allowed just three runs over seven innings in the series finale against Jacksonville State.

Christian Slazinik will get the start on the mound on Tuesday. He is 0-3 on the season with a 16.36 era.

The Panthers are hitting just .185 as a team through 17 games this season. Eastern has struck out 144 times and has walked only 44 times.

Senior third baseman Brant Valach is hitting .268 with three homeruns and nine RBIs this season.


Junior infielder Mitch Gasbarro was hit on the wrist while trying to bunt. Eastern coach Jimmy Schmitz said Gasbarro will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist.

Schmitz also said he plans to replace Gasbarro with a mix of freshman Cale Hennermann, senior Dane Sauer and sophomore Marshawn Taylor.

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].