Transfers power baseball team to win


Justin Brown | The Daily Eastern News Junior Devin Rose delivers a pitch Friday, March 24 at Coaches Stadium. Rose (1-0) picked up his first win of the season Wednesday striking out five Lindenwood-Bellevill batters over five innings of work.

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter

The Eastern baseball team knew it had to add talent and leadership to its team when it won just 15 games a season ago.

Well, they did just that and it is the reason for most of its success this season.

The Panthers hosted Lindenwood-Belleville in another single-game midweek matchup Wednesday evening, and it was the transfer anchoring Eastern to its third straight win.

Devin Rose is the first transfer x-factor at hand as he started things out and finished with his first win of the season in Eastern’s 8-5 victory.

Rose pitched his way past the Lindenwood offense with five innings on the mound of just two runs allowed on five hits and two walks.

In a season where the bullpen and team as a whole has struggled to close out games, it proved to be the opposite in this one.

Eastern sent four relievers out to close the game and they did just that despite allowing an additional three runs in the final four innings.

The Panthers’ lineup is the reason for that as Dougie Parks had himself another career day at the plate, belting two home runs past the outfield fence to lead the team.

Parks’ multi home run game didn’t just lead Eastern to victory, but marks his second straight game doing so.

The junior-college transfer is now at nine home runs this season, and he said he completely expected this coming into the year.

“I knew what I was capable of coming in, and I’m glad I could see it come together in this way,” Parks said.

He was not the only transfer to make an impact though, as Andrew Curran also had himself a stellar day at the plate for Eastern.

Curran earned a hit in all three of his at bats while Matt Albert nearly added to his team-leading homerun total as he got the offense going with a double that just tucked inside the center field fence. That later turned into the team’s first run as the Panthers began another impressive day at the plate.

After Eastern notched its third straight game scoring seven or more runs, Parks said the offense is definitely coming together.

“As long as our defense holds up I think everything can continue to grow for us and we can make a run towards the conference tournament,” Parks said.

Eastern had just one error in this game, but has seen its batting average rise.

The Panthers now sit with a team .241 average after nearing the sub-.200 mark with most of the first half of this season.

Parks and Albert have been an important part of that combining for 21 of the team’s home runs this season.

Albert and Parks have also boasted pretty high batting averages for power hitters as both are above .275.

Jimmy Govern’s hitting streak came to an end but he still pushed his batting average well over .300 in that span.

This may have been a non-conference game, but it stands as now another opportunity for this team to run with the momentum at hand.

The last time the Panthers had a three-game winning streak it came to an abrupt end when the team returned to conference play. 

They’ll try to flip the script this time though, as the next team up is Eastern Kentucky.

What is different this time though is the Panthers get to stay home for this series opposed to heading out for another road trip.

Eastern also has a chance to inch closer to its win total from last season as they now have 10 wins on the year.

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