Panthers to take on Indiana State


Lauren McQueen

Junior Joe Duncan grounds out to third base in the seventh inning of the Panthers’ second game against Eastern Kentucky Saturday at Coaches Stadium. The Panthers won game two of the three-game series 16-5.

Tyler McCluskey, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern baseball team is on a six-game winning streak after completing a series sweep against Ohio Valley Conference opponent Eastern Kentucky.

The Panthers (13-27) will stay at home and face Indiana State Tuesday.

The Sycamores (18-19) are having a rough patch, losing four straight which includes getting swept by Dallas Baptist.

Eastern has two players over the .300 mark in batting average. Sophomore Jimmy Govern is hitting .369 and junior Joe Duncan who sits at .301. As a whole, the batting average for the team is .255. Duncan has the most hits on the team with 53 and is third in home runs with eight. Duncan went 10-17 over the weekend with nine RBIs.

For Indiana State, Tony Rosselli leads the team in virtually every category in hitting. He has a .364 batting average and five triples which is second in the Missouri Valley Conference. He also leads the team in slugging percentage with .628.

Dane Tofteland broke the ISU single-game record Last Tuesday against Northern Illinois driving in 11 RBIs. He had three home runs including two grand slams to defeat the Huskies 17-8. It is the highest RBI performance in the NCAA so far this season and also tied a MVC record that dates back to 1992.

As for pitching, the Sycamores can close out games if they lead after the eighth inning. They are 17-0 when leading after eight innings and outscoring opponents 27-12 in the ninth inning. Tyler Ward has a 3-2 record in eight starts and boasts a 3.04 ERA. Ward only has nine walks compared to his 34 strikeouts which ranks him 39th in the nation.

The team has struck out 315 batters this year. Along with Ward, Jeremy McKinney has added 54 strikeouts in 42 innings which is 11.57 per nine innings which ranks him 34th in the nation.

The two teams met earlier this season with ISU coming out on top, 2-1 due to a game-winning sacrifice fly from Clay Dungan. In that game, redshirt senior Brendon Allen went seven innings and gave up one run on five hits and had eight strikeouts. The lone run from the Panthers came off a double by junior Matt Albert which scored Duncan in the top of the ninth.

With that win, the Sycamores have won eight of the last 10 against the Panthers. The series dates all the way back to 1905, where the Sycamores hold the all-time record of 112-86. 

The game is at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Coaches Stadium.

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]