Baseball team set for 3-game weekend set with EKU

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

The Eastern baseball team returns home after a four-game road trip in which the Panthers went 2-2.

Eastern begins a three-game set with Eastern Kentucky University Friday, and it will last until Sunday.

Last weekend, the Panthers pitching staff allowed seven earned runs through three games against a high-powered Belmont team.

Eastern ended up winning 2-of-3 games last weekend for its first series win of the season.

With the teams positive pitching performance last weekend, Eastern coach Jimmy Schmitz said that was really nice to see.

“Pitching was outstanding,” he said. “We have had some issues where we have not been able to lineup the pitching the way we wanted. We feel things are lined up again.”

Eastern was able to get junior infielder Mitch Gasbarro back into the lineup this past week after missing six weeks with a broken wrist after he got hit in the wrist making a bunt attempt in a game against Arkansas.

Gasbarro was in the lineup against Illinois. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his first game back.

Schmitz said it is a big deal to have Gasbarro back in the lineup at the 7-8-9 spot in the order.

“I am excited to get Mitch going,” he said. “That will give us four guys that can really steal and give us chances to run a little bit, and do other things. Mitch is looking good at practice and he will play second base, because Marshawn is just played so well at short. We feel good about it.”

Starting pitching-wise, the Panthers will start junior Jake Johansmeier Friday, red-shirt junior Matt Wivinis Saturday and go with Andy Fisher on the mound Sunday.

Schmitz said there is nothing magical about switching the rotation up for the upcoming weekend series.

“We’re trying to figure out a chance to win,” he said. “We are thin on pitching, so we will use the 5-to-7 guys we got. If you can get through two games and win the series you feel good about it. That is what we are trying to do.”

The Panthers have been swinging hot bats as of late. In the month of April the Panthers are hitting .315 as a team and scored 103 runs in those games. Eastern is 7-7 in 14 games played this month.

Eastern and Eastern Kentucky will get underway at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


During the course of last week, freshman designated hitter Bobby Wenthe helped lead the Panthers to a 4-1 record.

He hit three doubles, four home runs and had 11 runs batted in last week. He is now hitting .356 for the season in 21 games.

Wenthe is expected to be in the lineup all three games this weekend as the designated hitter. Eastern coach Jimmy Schmitz is impressed with the way he has gone about his business during the season.

“It is a neat thing to see guys who are struggling early, and they keep on working,” he said. “Bobby is a neat guy. You know he is going to swing and miss a little bit, but he really has the pop that we really thought. He is looking really comfortable in the box, whether he does well or not.”


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