Panthers hitting more home runs as season progresses

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter


The Eastern Illinois baseball team hit 26 home runs all of last season, and has already well surpassed that total this season.

This Panther team may be rebuilding, but the new talent combined with transfers and freshman has provided a different look on the offensive end.

Eastern has hit 36 home runs already this year, and still have 20 games left on the season.

Now, it is understood that last year’s team may have just really struggled with their power swings, but that takes nothing away from the recent success for the Panthers.

That power strike has been led by junior college transfer Matt Albert as he already has a team-leading 12 this season, with the most recent coming against Belmont Sunday.

It is also worth noting Albert already has three multi home run games on the year with still plenty to play.

His wealth at the plate has been somewhat contagious for the Panthers as three other players have at least five home runs on the season, and that has been the complete opposite from last season.

In 2016, Eastern had one player on the entire team hit five or more home runs and that was Jason Scholl who led the team but is now graduated.

That has been the story for Eastern the season; growing as a whole and that is apparent through one statistic.

As far as wins though, the Panthers are still lacking yet nearing their total from a year ago.

With 20 games left on the season the team has already reached half its win total from all of last season.

The problem with that is the Eastern won just 15 games a year ago.

The 8-27 Panthers have been inconsistent this season and there really is no other way to describe a team that is clearly in its rebuilding stage.

While the increase in home runs has been nice to see, run scoring has still been inconsistent as well.

The team has quickly gone from scoring 18 runs in one game to scoring just four combined in the next two against Belmont.

But as coach Jason Anderson has stated before, this team has no problem competing with any opponent, instead, closing out games.

It is one game at a time for these young Panthers and now they take their momentum from Sunday’s win into a single-game matchup against Butler Tuesday afternoon.

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