Grahn, Howell lead Panthers to 2nd-straight win


Mackenzie Freund

Senior pitcher Andrew Grahn winds up to pitch during the game against St. Louis University Tuesday in Coaches Stadium. The Panthers went on to win the game 13-4.

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

Eastern senior starting pitcher Andrew Grahn pitched six innings and allowed just one run on four hits in the Panthers’ 13-4 win over St. Louis University Tuesday at Coaches Stadium.

This is Grahn’s second-straight stellar outing after last week against Illinois, he threw five innings and allowed two runs on two hits.

Grahn recorded 14 ground-ball outs in the game and retired the last 17-of-19 batters he faced in the game.

Eastern coach Jimmy Schmitz said Grahn’s good performances are coming at the right time.

“It couldn’t be more timely with the arm issues we have,” he said. “We have three weeks to go, and he has been pitching really well.”

Eastern senior second baseman Dane Sauer said it was awesome to see Grahn perform like that on the mound again.

“It was great to see him do that,” he said. “He’s just a kid I love watching do well.”

Sauer had a good day at the plate going 2-for-5 with two runs batted in including his first home run of the season.

Eastern senior outfielder Caleb Howell reached base all six times in Tuesday’s game. He went 4-for-4 with a walk and a hit by pitch.

He had one RBI on the day and two runs scored.

Howell scored his first run of the day on a sacrifice fly by red-shirt junior outfielder Demetre Taylor to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead.

Howell also scored on an RBI single by freshman designated hitter Bobby Wenthe to give Eastern a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning.

Howell did enter the Ohio Valley Conference Top 10 all-time hits list.

Taylor opened the scoring for the Panthers with a solo home run to center field in the second inning.

Freshman catcher Hunter Morris doubled home senior first baseman Adam Casson to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead after two innings.

The Billikens did not get their first run until the top of the fourth when junior Josh Bunselmeyer hit an RBI-groundout, which scored junior Braxton Martinez.

The Panthers would tack on three more runs in the next three innings. The big blow was a Sauer home run in the sixth inning.

Senior Max Vigliarolo hit a home run to left center field in the eighth inning for the Billikens to cut the Eastern lead to 8-4.

Eastern would break the game wide-open in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring five runs.

Junior shortstop Mitch Gasbarro doubled down the left field line, which scored Wenthe and Taylor to give the Panthers a 10-4 lead.

Sauer singled to center field, which scored Gasbarro to give Eastern an 11-4 lead.

Howell was hit by a pitch, which forced in Casson. On the next pitch, freshman second baseman Cale Hennemann was hit by a pitch, which scored freshman center fielder Joe Duncan.

Grahn got the win on the mound for Eastern and is now 2-1 on the season.

Billiken pitcher Josh Moore took the loss after pitching two innings and allowing three runs on five hits.

Eastern senior pitcher Garrison Stenger picked up the save after allowing no runs on no hits in 1 1/3 innings pitched.

The Panthers will travel to Morehead State next for a weekend series.

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