Baseball team faces crucial stretch


Justin Brown

Junior third baseman Dougie Parks throws out the runner April 8 against Southeast Missouri at Coaches Stadium.

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter

The Eastern baseball team is on its longest winning streak of the season and is playing well-rounded baseball.

But is this success here to stay?

The Panthers sure have a chance to prove that it is this week on their home field.

With six straight wins already under their belt and such a dominant batting lineup hitting its groove, Eastern is in a stretch where if this continues they could actually make it to the tournament.

Junior college transfer Dougie Parks said him and the rest of the team really is confident in continuing this success and for good reason.

Parks is just one of many new additions to this lineup and it seems like everyone is just hitting the cover off the ball.

Parks has 10 home runs this season as him and the other transfers have combined for 31 of the team’s 54 home runs.

The Panthers are nearly doubling their home run total from last season, but another surprise has been the recent success of the pitching staff.

Eastern coach Jason Anderson has always said that the talent is there for his time and pitching staff specifically, but it is just about building that confidence.

Well, that confidence seems to be in full-swing right now as the team is nearing its win total from last season already, but most importantly inching closer to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

The confidence clearly comes when the team is swinging as hot as it has, but seeing a veteran like Brendon Allen have such a dominant outing on the mound has rubbed off on the rest of the staff.

And because of his recent 12 strikeout performance, Allen was named Co-OVC Pitcher of the Week.

Andrew Curran got in on some honors of his own after being crowned as the OVC Baseball Player of the Week.

Curran is another fine example of not just transfers making a difference, but improvement as a whole.

Curran is coming off his hottest week of the season as he hit .529 with four home runs and eight RBIs.

But the sense of improvement comes after the junior college transfer had somewhat of a rough start to this season.

Despite his stellar week, Curran is still batting just .220 on the season, but it could also be argued that his consistent .307 on base percentage matters more.

But again, it all comes down to seeing if Curran and the rest of the team can keep this up.

The Panthers have two final home games that must be taken advantage of as they return to the road this weekend for another OVC series.

Eastern is in the midst of a tight conference race as their second to last place spot in the standings does not tell the entire story.

The Panthers are tied with two other teams for eighth in the conference but are just two games back of the fifth spot.

Some may have doubted the fact that a growing team like this could actually impact the OVC, but staying the course has done the team well.

Eastern has seen all the adversity it has needed to as the team has gone through losing streaks of five or more games ahead of this current winning stretch.

The Panthers have 15 games left to try to clinch a spot in the postseason.

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