Duncan sets goals, has fun


Justin Brown

Junior outfielder Joseph Duncan sports a .286 batting average through 7 games for the Panthers. Duncan has totaled 8 hits in 28 and bats with 4 RBI’s and three runs scored while also swiping both stolen bases attempted.

Maria Baldwin, Feature Writer

The daily challenge that a baseball player has to overcome mentally is learning to overcome failures and getting better on a day-to-day basis. But that is a challenge in itself.

Joseph Duncan, a junior outfielder, uses the mental barriers as motivation to become the best he can be, and his goals are plain and simple.

“I want to play each game as hard as I can and do everything I can to help us win each game,” Duncan said. “Our goal as a team would be to make the OVC Tournament and turn some heads while there.”

You can’t turn heads in the tournament without putting in the work, and Duncan works every day to improve on different aspects of his game.

“There’s always room for improvement in this game, no matter who you are,” Duncan said. “It’s a game of making adjustments. I believe we have a very good team. Our coaching staff did a very good job of bringing in the right pieces this past off-season, and I think our pitching staff has the potential to do some serious damage. Our position players are very solid and are going to make a big impact for us this year.”

Drawn to Eastern because of the baseball program and because of the location, Duncan said he also chose Eastern’s program because of a familiar face on the team.

Former Eastern baseball player Jake Haberer was a freshman on the team at the time Duncan was recruited. The familiar face helped him adjust to being a Division I athlete, and even helped to give him the confidence to step up and be an essential force on the squad, achieving the Ohio Valley Conference All-Freshmen Team in 2015.

“I try not to think too much and just focus on having fun,” Duncan said. “I started playing baseball because it was a fun game, and when you think too much in this game it can eat you up.”

Last year Duncan started in 51 games as the everyday center fielder and hit a team-high .332 on the season. Duncan led the team with 22 multiple hit games. All of his success, Duncan accredits to just playing and having fun.

“I would say my strengths would be primarily my speed and my confidence due to the experience that I’ve gained over the past two seasons here at Eastern,” Duncan said. “I think there’s room for improvement. It’s early in the season and there are plenty of things to work on and get better at. An athlete should never be satisfied.”

In the recent 4-2 win in Central Arkansas, Duncan got the game started on a strong note for the Panthers when he hit a leadoff single in the first inning, eventually scoring the first run for Eastern.

“I love being able to run and track down baseballs in the gaps.” Duncan said. “It’s always a good feeling being able to take away a hit from the other team, and my favorite baseball memory was beating No. 12 ranked Arkansas last year at their place in front of their 10,000 fans.”

The Panthers are back on the road again this weekend, and headed to Manhattan, Kansas for a three-game weekend against Kansas State.

Maria Baldwin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]