Former pitcher-catcher find success after Eastern


Sean Hastings

Former Eastern pitcher Matt Wivinis has had a successful season so far playing in the Frontier League

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter

Former Panther battery mates have made their way into the professional baseball world as members of the Independent Frontier League.

Matt Wivinis, an ex-Eastern starting pitcher has pushed his way onto the Evansville Otters and is finding plenty of success.

After the Panthers season came to an end, Wivinis joined the Prospect League’s Danville Dans due to no professional team signing him.

But after just one week with the Dans, Wivinis signed his contract with the Otters and has produced consistent numbers on the mound.

Wivinis has started three games this summer in 10 total appearances, and has held a 1.26 ERA in that span.

In 28.2 innings pitched Wivinis has set 33 batters down on strikes, while boasting a 2-0 record as well.

Wivinis has found more success in the professional leagues than he had with the Panthers.

After transferring to Eastern as a junior, Wivinis spent time as a starter and reliever.

Wivinis registered a 5.86 career ERA in his time as a Panther, and also went 6-18 in 31 appearances.

His play improved slightly as a senior when he became one of Eastern’s weekend starters, tossing 79 strikeouts to lead the Panthers and ranked eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference in that category.

His former teammate Jason Scholl has also found himself in the Independent Frontier League as a member of the Gateway Grizzlies.

Scholl has appeared in 22 games for the Grizzlies and has knocked out three homeruns with 12 runs batted in during that stretch.

Scholl holds a .250 batting average and a .323 on base percentage in his 56 at bats this season.

His numbers are similar to the ones he posted in his four years as a Panther.

Scholl started 99 of the 134 games he played for Eastern, and wrapped up his career with a .254 batting average.

As those Eastern graduates find their way in the professional leagues, Eastern coach Jason Anderson reflected on the impact of their success.

“It shows the type of talent we have at EIU, and the opportunities that we can provide for potential players in the future,” Anderson said. “Those two put in the work to get that opportunity, and it’s nice to see them rewarded in that effort.”

While Anderson continues to build for the future, he will do so without two key players from last season.

Former Eastern relief pitcher Andy Fisher has transferred to the University of Illinois, while Nick Maton transferred to Illinois College.

Fisher appeared in 22 games out of the bullpen last season, and finished the year with a 5.83 ERA and team-high four saves.

Maton was a key starter as a freshman shortstop, and hit .299 on the season with team-high four triples.

Maton was also named to the OVC All-Freshman Team for his performance in 49 starts in 51 games.

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