Panthers hit seven homers in 18-11 win over Illinois- Springfield


Justin Brown

Second baseman Jimmy Govern is congratulated at home plate by teammates after hitting a grandslam in the 7th inning to put Eastern up 13-10. Govern led all hitters going 3-for-6 with 8 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter


Not one. Not two. Not three. Not Four. Not Five. Not Six. How about seven?

That’s the number of home runs the Eastern baseball team knocked out of the park Tuesday evening, and it was all led by “Jimmy G”.

No, not that Jimmy G. It is Jimmy Govern; the man who just knocked out two home runs, one of which was a go-ahead grand slam that just snuck over the fence, to lead the Panthers to a 18-11 route over Illinois-Springfield.

“I wasn’t sure if it was gonna make it out right off the bat so I was just saying to myself ‘c’mon get out please get out’ and luckily it made it over the wall and we took the lead,” Govern said. “I was sitting on a fastball there because it was a 2-1 count and he left it right over the plate.”

The first home run was enough to extend his hitting streak to twelve games now, and by the time the game was over Govern had accounted for eight of Eastern’s 18 runs batted in.

“It’s been great to finally have the impact on the team I knew I was capable of when I came here,” Govern said. “When I’m up at the plate I try and keep it simple, and I leave all the mechanical thoughts about my swing for batting practice before the game.”

That is just the kind of day the Panthers had on a day where neither side could do much on the mound.

Hit after hit was roped to the outfield or over the fence as the two teams combined for 23 base hits and 10 home runs.

Joe Duncan got in on the action as well as he sent two home runs of his own over the fence.

Matt Albert continued his power stroke at the plate with his 11th of the season, while Frankie Perrone and Nicholas McCormick joined the club with one each.

The biggest point of focus was the Panthers’ ability to overcome a tough start defensively.

Eastern sent Dustin Wilson to the mound for his fifth start of the season, but an early home run and five runs scored cut his outing short after just two innings.

Not many relievers had an answer on a day where nearly everything seemed to rope through the infield or past the outfield fence.

Both teams continued to go back and forth throughout the game exchanging hit for hit and run for run.

But, there was no turning back after Govern’s go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning, in fact the entire team seemed to have just had enough with the carousel game at that point.

Illinois-Springfield responded in the eighth with another home run to make it a two-run game, but a five-run eighth inning would be more than enough for this Panther team to turn the corner.

This may have just been a midweek non-conference game, but Eastern has an opportunity at hand to take this momentum into a crucial weekend conference series against Belmont.

“We are a team that never gives in but is learning how to win games,” Eastern coach Jason Anderson said.

The win caps off a four-game home stand for the Panthers and that weekend series puts the team back on the road.

But it may just be the perfect time for this team to head back on the road as they carry more offensive momentum than they have all season long.

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