Eastern wins game three of weekend series


Justin Brown

Junior Dougie Parks eyes homeplate while teammate Justin Smith prpepares to lay down a bunt in game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader against Murray State. Parks finished 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored in the 11-10 loss.

Tyler McCluskey, Assistant Sports Editor


The Eastern baseball team had a wild weekend in their scheduling of their games against Murray State. What would have been a doubleheader, game two was cut short in the seventh inning due to darkness because Coaches Stadium does not have lights, leading to another “doubleheader” on Saturday.

In the final game of the series, the Racers started the second inning with a leadoff double by Tyler Lawrence and following that, Ryan Perkins reached first on a dropped-third-strike by a throw that overshot the first basemen by redshirt junior Justin Smith which allowed Lawrence to score. The Panthers would end up having three errors, two of which came in the fourth inning. But those defensive errors would later mean nothing when there was a 4-6-3 double play that came in the eighth inning that saved the Racers from scoring to cut the lead down to one.

“We didn’t play good defense and we didn’t throw enough strikes,” coach Jason Anderson said.

The Panthers were tied going into the bottom of the seventh inning at five when junior Logan Beaman drew a walk. Junior Dougie Parks then saw a slider coming on the inside corner from Murray State’s Chance Carner and a strike was called.

“I knew that pitcher was working slider away a lot on our guys. I saw a lot of guy flailing, missing pitches up, and so I was thinking ‘I was a four hitter. I know he’s probably going to come at me with a slider,’” Parks said. “So I waited on the slider and hit it to right field. Good things happen I guess.”

The next pitch was that slider away and Parks got the extension on his hands that he needed to score the runner at first with a triple. Parks’ triple sparked the go-ahead run and the Panthers would not look back.

“That was definitely big for the team,” Parks said. “Tie, 5-5 ballgame, just kind of waiting for anybody who is going to get the big hit and drive in the go-ahead run. I’m happy in this game it ended up being us in the end.”

The Panthers would end up winning 7-5. In the second game, it was another Panther comeback but this time, it did not have the same outcome.

The Racers were up 6-0 in the fifth inning when the Panthers started a comeback. The Panthers scored five straight runs. Smith and redshirt Frankie Perrone singled to start off the inning then junior Andrew Curran tripled in the two runs then junior Joseph Duncan hit a two-run homerun. The Panther bats kept it coming even in the next inning. The Racers got three runs in the top of the sixth, but the Panthers answered right back with another five run inning to take the lead 10-9. The game would get suspended in the seventh and continue in the eighth inning the next day.  The Racers would tie the game up in the eighth and would take the win with an RBI triple from Adam Bauer.

Despite the two losses, coach Anderson was still pleased with the fight the Panthers had in them in this series.

“This team just don’t quit,” Anderson said. “To be ahead seven runs, we give away that game in game one, game two we’re down big and have a lead late, pretty much give that one away too. To be down four or five runs in the third game and to stick with it and win it, it’s impressive that these guys don’t give in. I’m excited to see where we take it from here.”

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]