Baseball team in fifth place of OVC standings

Adam Shay, Baseball Reporter

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After two weeks of play, the Eastern baseball team has been playing better than past years, as they have a 5-5 record, placing them in the top half of the OVC.

Out of the 11 teams in the OVC, the Panthers are tied with Morehead State (6-6) for fifth place. 

Atop the leaderboard is Jacksonville State with a 9-3 record and not too far behind Jacksonville State is Austin Peay, only a game out of first with an 8-4 record.

Despite having a high placing in fifth place, the Panthers do not have any top 10 players in batting average. The only Panther player to rank in the top ten for any batting category is senior third baseman Dougie Parks, who is tied for fifth with six doubles through ten games.

As for pitching, senior pitcher Michael Starcevich, through 13.1 innings, has cracked the top ten in lowest ERA, ranking fifth at 2.03 and tied for first with three saves. Junior pitcher Carson Haws ranks fourth in strikeouts with 20 through three games, averaging 10.80 per game.

Fundamentally, the Panthers are statistically the best team in the conference. The Panthers are ranked first with a .978 fielding percentage and are also the only team with a single digit error count at eight.

As a team, Jacksonville State is batting only .248, ranking ninth in conference. However, their success is led by dominant pitching through 12 games. Jacksonville State has a team ERA of 3.76, holding its opponents to a low batting average of .238 through 110 innings pitched.

Even though Jacksonville State ranks ninth in offense, the team has been powered by junior catcher Nic Gaddis, who batting .475 through 12 games and tied for first in the OVC with eight doubles. Senior pitcher Colton Pate is second in the OVC with an ERA of 1.56.

One school that has offense and pitching on near opposite ends of the standings is Tennessee Tech. Their first-place offense has been explosive this season as the team’s average is .378, driving in 137 RBIs, 55 more than the next school.

On their roster, four players rank in the top ten for batting average, as well as having five players in the top ten for hits, runs scored, and lastly six players in the total base category. Senior third baseman Trevor Putzig leads the OVC with five homeruns and 19 RBIs.

Their pitching though ranks tenth in the OVC with a team ERA of 8.07, allowing other teams to bat .307 against them. The only Tennessee Tech pitcher in the top ten ranks of the major pitching categories is junior pitcher Ethan Roberts, who is tied for third with two saves.

Rounding out the bottom of the OVC in tenth place is Southeast Missouri with a 3-10 record. In last place is the Tennessee-Martin at 2-10, ranking last in team offense with an average of .211 and last in pitching with a team ERA of 9.00.

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]