Offense fires on all cylinders for baseball team in weekend series


Lauren McQueen

The baseball team celebrates with Hunter Beetley (7) after his walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning during the Panthers’ first game of a three-game series against Eastern Kentucky Saturday at Coaches Stadium. The Panthers’ won the first game 13-11.

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter


The Eastern baseball team has found its groove on offense, and it has led them to playing some of their best baseball in over a year.

The Panthers hosted Eastern Kentucky this past weekend in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series and runs came in bunches.

Eastern completed the sweep by scoring 11 or more runs in all three games to mark six straight wins for the team.

In fact, offense has carried this team with the ball continuing to be launched out of the park in every game as they have not scored less than seven runs in over six games.

The ability to rally back and close games is something the Panthers have struggled with in recent years, but now it has come full circle.

Eastern’s win Sunday completed the sweep after the team scored five runs in the final two innings to earn an 11-9 win.

That win came after a 13-11 victory in game one followed by 16-5 in game two.

The home run ball is the reason behind this offensive outbreak as the team knocked 12 balls over the fence in the series.

The win Sunday came with sophomore Jimmy Govern returning to his impressive season at the plate, hitting two home runs and maintaining his .369 batting average.

The sophomore ranks 10th in the conference with that mark and he now adds to the list of Panthers with five or more home runs this season.

Junior Andrew Curran has been another junior college transfer to aide Eastern’s batting order and he really broke out in this series. Curran finished the weekend with four home runs with that total coming from two multi home run games.

Freshman Alex Stevenson has been one of the team’s best pitchers this season and his work out of the bullpen was strong in game one. His two innings of scoreless ball earned him his fourth victory this season, and started a strong series for the bullpen.

Junior Michael Starevich followed that with a win of his own out of the bullpen, improving to 3-4 after a three-inning outing in which he allowed just one run.

Redshirt senior Brendon Allen provided one of the biggest bright spots to what has been an up and down pitching staff this season. Allen started things out on the mound in game two and the 16 runs from the offense sure helped, but his performance on the mound was still strong. The senior had one of his best outings as a Panther, pitching 7 2/3 innings while allowing just one run on five hits.

He got good use of his strikeout pitch as he punched out 12 Colonels on the day in a 16-5 victory.

The series as a whole offers plenty of optimism for this team going forward as they inch up in the conference standings.

Eastern now sits at 7-11 in OVC play and 13-27 overall with some more home games still upcoming.

The Panthers take little time to celebrate the win as they will return to Coaches Stadium Tuesday afternoon for a single-game matchup against Indiana State.

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