Eastern baseball team holding leads


Justin Brown

Junior Joseph Duncan is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run Friday, March 24 at Coaches Stadium. Duncan finished the recent weekend series at Morehead State going 5-13 with 3RBIs and 5 runs scored.

Tyler McCluskey, Assistant Sports Editor

The Panther baseball team held out for two of the three games this weekend against Morehead State.

The Panthers (16-29, 9-12) either held leads or let leads slip away from under them. In game one, the Panthers rallied back late in the eighth to cut to one. Then came back to power through with an 8 run top of the ninth inning.

In game two, the Panthers were up six, but Morehead State tied it up in the sixth through eight innings. But once again, the Panthers’ bats came alive and struck gold by getting three more runs in the top of the ninth. The Eagles (28-16, 13-7) almost made a comeback effort and almost tied it at nine, but only could get two runs for the Panthers to close out game two.

Even in game three, the Panthers continued to go back and forth throughout the game. A five-run eighth inning sparked another comeback. The Panthers also scored four to take a one-run lead in the ninth but Morehead scored in the bottom of the ninth to tie it. The game did not last long as the Eagles won the game in the bottom of the tenth.

Although the Panthers took two games during this series against an Ohio Valley Conference opponent, earlier this season, the Panthers lost two of a three-game series against OVC opponent Murray State.

The series with the Racers saw much of the same that was seen against Morehead State.

In the series opener, the Panthers started out with a seven-run lead throughout the first five innings then Murray State had a five run sixth and ninth inning to get the 10-8 win over the Panthers.

Coach Jason Anderson said on the series, the team did not quit in those games.

“To be ahead seven runs, we give away that game (game one). In game two, we’re down big and we have a lead late pretty much give that one away too,” Anderson said. “Down four or five runs in the third game and to stick with it and win it, it’s impressive that these guys don’t give in.”

Anderson said that he was excited to see where the team would go from that series.

Eastern would win the next two games against non-conference opponents Robert Morris-Chicago and Southern Illinois-Carbondale 12-4 and 10-7 respectively. After the series against MSU, the Panthers hit a bit of a bump going 4-6 in the next 10 games.

The Panthers are 8-2 in their last 10 and are gearing up for the rest of the season. The Panthers have a three more series’ against OVC opponents and an added game against Chicago State. If the Panthers hold up, they can make the playoffs.

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