Baseball team loses its third straight game


Sean Hastings

Eastern junior Tyler Jones throws a pitch in the Panthers 9-3 loss to Tennessee Tech on March 30 at Coaches Field. Jones threw six innings and gave up three runs while striking out four batters.

Adam Shay, Baseball Reporter

With 10 hits and only scoring three runs, the Eastern baseball team lost its third straight game as it came up short to Southern Illinois-Carbondale in a 5-3 game. 

The Panthers’ bats were lively Tuesday with 10 hits, which was their highest total over the last three games. 

Despite losing, the Panthers look to continue to swing the bat, hoping more runs will cross the plate as the season continues. Hitting is timely and to score those runs, the Panthers need to make slight adjustments depending on the count.

“(We need to) continue to work with the coaching staff by making adjustments throughout the game and in scoring positions,” redshirt junior Josh Turnock said. “Shorten up, simplify with two strikes and two outs, and work on putting the ball in play on a line drive.”

Senior shortstop Dougie Parks had a successful day at the plate, going 3-4 with a home run, double and crossed the plate twice. Also, senior centerfielder Joe Duncan went 2-4 with two singles and a walk.

After allowing 13 runs in their last game, the Panthers’ pitching improved as they allowed five runs on nine hits. What worked for the Panthers Tuesday was their bullpen, allowing no runs through 2.2 innings.

“Our pitchers have continued to pitch really well and compete on the mound, which is huge for our team because it gives us a chance to win every day,” Turnock said. 

The bullpen was led by senior Dustin Wilson as he pitched 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out one through nine batters faced. As for the starter, freshman Blake Malatestinic had a rough outing through 5.1 innings, allowing those five runs on six hits.

Aside from the stellar bullpen pitching, the defense improved this game as the Panthers had no errors. In the beginning of the season, the Panthers were one of the better teams in the OVC defensively.

For Southern Illinois-Carbondale, freshman third baseman Grey Epps led the Salukis batting 3-4 and driving in one run. Sophomore catcher Mitch Fairfield drove in two runs with a single up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Salukis’ bullpen was also lights out Tuesday as they went through four pitchers. After a pitching change in the sixth inning, those pitchers only allowed three hits over the next 3.2 innings, giving up no runs.

Even with a loss, the Panthers are confident with how the team played. 

“I thought we took a step forward today,” Duncan said. “We played a very clean game, they just played a little bit better, and that’s baseball sometimes.” 

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