Baseball team falls in another rollercoaster series

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Lauren McQueen

Sophomore Andy Fisher pitches during the Panthers’ game against the Belmont Bruins Saturday at Coaches Stadium. The Panthers won 9-8 in 10 innings and Fisher improved to 1-3.

Maher Kawash, Staff Reporter

The Eastern baseball team continues to suffer from its lack of pitching depth in another conference series loss to the Belmont Bruins over the weekend at Coaches Stadium.

The Panthers came into the series with just one win this season against Ohio Valley Conference opponents this season, and win number two would not be found in game one.

Eastern’s offense sparked early on in the game with a six-run second inning as the team also batted around.

The Panthers found runs off three RBI singles in the inning, but the six runs scored there still were not enough for a win.

After the second, Eastern’s offense went cold while the Bruins were just getting started in the game.

Belmont went into the top of the sixth trailing 7-3 and came out of that frame leading by four.

The Panthers allowed 10 runs in the sixth as the pitching staff just could not buy an out.

The Bruins had six hits in that inning to score the 10 runs off of one two run homerun, and a grand slam.

The bleeding did not stop there either as Brennan Washington stepped up to the plate once again in the seventh to add another two run homerun in the game.

Washington finished the game going 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs, and Kyle Conger led the Bruins with seven RBIs in the game.

Brendon Allen started the game on the mound, but his seven runs allowed were toppled with another rough outing from the bullpen.

Jake Haberer was responsible for the loss in the game as he allowed four runs in 0.2 innings pitched, and it did not stop there.

Jason Euler and Bryan Bund combined for 10 more runs allowed in 3.1 innings pitched.

The Panthers allowed six home runs in that game on their way to a 21-9 loss in the series opener.

With the pitching staff desperate for a win, game two offered a little more hope and luck.

Game two was the second game this week that went to extra innings for Eastern, and it ended in similar fashion.

The Panthers jumped out to another early lead in this one with three runs in the second, but it was erased quickly as Belmont scored four runs in the third.

With both teams exchanging leads in the game, Eastern found itself trailing 8-7 heading into the eighth inning.

Freshman infielder Dane Toppel led off the inning with a double and advanced to third with a sac-bunt.

But one of the most intense moments came after that as Toppel scored the tying run on a wild pitch.

After both teams could not get a run across in the ninth, the game was sent to extras.

But it did not take long for Eastern to take advantage as Toppel found himself on third once again in the bottom of the 10th.

And once again Toppel scrambled home as the pitch went behind the catcher for the Panthers to win 9-8.

The wild pitch gave Eastern its second win in the OVC and tied the series 1-1.

With the Panther faithful excited from game two’s win, game three failed to meet expectations.

After scoring 18 runs in the first two games combined, Eastern’s offense mustered just one run in the series finale.

The Panthers led once again after scoring a run in the second inning, but Belmont took control with a three-run sixth inning.

The Bruins scored six runs in the final four innings to take a 6-1 win in game three and handed Eastern another series loss.

The Panthers dropped to 7-33 this season with the series loss, and 2-16 in conference play.

Wivinis earned the loss in game three, and Eastern used four pitchers in the loss.

Eastern allowed eight home runs in the series, and three Bruins finished the series with two or more home runs.

Following yet another series loss, the Panthers continue their rebuilding season against Saint Louis.

Eastern has back-to-back single game matchups Tuesday and Wednesday against Saint Louis and Indiana State at Coaches Stadium.

After those two games, the Panthers hit the road again for a three-game series against Eastern Kentucky over the weekend.

 

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