Baseball team takes down in-state rival

Redshirt+senior+outfielder+Demetre+Taylor+stands+up+after+sliding+into+second+base+during+the+game+against+Jacksonville+State+Thursday+at+Coaches+Stadium.

Mackenzie Freund

Redshirt senior outfielder Demetre Taylor stands up after sliding into second base during the game against Jacksonville State Thursday at Coaches Stadium.

Maher Kawash, Staff Reporter

The Eastern baseball team renewed an in-state rivalry Tuesday against Illinois State and came away victorious.

The Panthers fell behind in the first inning, but bounced back to top the Redbirds 2-1 on the road.

The win improved Eastern’s record to 4-20 this season, while dropping Illinois State to 7-17.

It was the Panthers’ bullpen that got the job done with strong performances from senior Jake Johansmeier and sophomore Andy Fisher.

Freshman Cole Berry started the game for Eastern on the mound, but head coach Jason Anderson had a quick hook on him.

Berry allowed an RBI double from in the first inning, and was immediately replaced after recording just one out in the game.

Johansmeier was the anchor on the mound for most of the game, as he didn’t allow the Redbirds to score again in 7.2 innings pitched.

Johansmeier also finished with a season-high of eight strikeouts in the game, and picked up his second win.

Fisher continues to be a force out of the bullpen as well for the Panthers this season, and showed that once again.

Fisher was brought in to pitch the bottom of the ninth, and retired the Redbirds in order to pick up his first save of the season.

The Panthers offense was quiet but effective enough to top Illinois State.

Eastern’s only two runs of the game were found in a fourth inning rally to take the lead.

Senior Demetre Taylor and sophomore Frankie Perrone led off the inning with back-to-back walks, and set up senior Mitch Gasbarro at the plate.

Gasbarro provided a clutch two-run double into left field to give the Panthers the lead.

That proved to be crucial for Eastern, as the team would hold its way to victory.

While the fourth inning was all the Panthers needed to come out on top, there were still plenty of missed opportunities.

Eastern fell short in some other scoring chances such as stranding the bases loaded in the eighth and leaving a runner on third in the ninth.

Although the Panthers put up just two runs, some players still got in on the action.

Sophomore Cale Hennemann continued to prove his worth in the lineup as he maintained his team leading average.

Hennemann has started every game this season, and leads all starters with a .300 batting average.

He has also been able to produce runs for the Panthers, as he leads the team with 13 this season.

Senior Jason Scholl has also been a key factor in Eastern’s offense this season.

Scholl is batting just .197 this season, but when he has found hits they have been important.

Scholl is second on the team with 10 RBIs this season, and has come up big recently.

In the team’s last three games, Scholl has come through with four RBIs.

With the team still searching for a consistent stretch of victories, an upcoming weekend series will be important.

The Panthers continue their road trip with a three game series against Ohio Valley Conference opponent Murray State.

Eastern is 0-6 in the OVC this season, and Murray State comes in at 3-6 in conference play.

The OVC matchup will begin Friday at 6 P.M.

 

Maher Kawash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]