Baseball team will face Butler on road Tuesday


File Photo

Eastern’s Jimmy Govern throws out a runner in a game last spring for Eastern. Eastern travels to face Belmont on Tuesday.

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern baseball team was supposed to host its first home game of the season Tuesday, but the Coaches Stadium field was not in good-enough shape to host Butler.

So, instead, Eastern will have to wait another week for its first home game, but in the meantime, the Panthers have a chance to redeem a loss to the Bulldogs from last season.

Last season in the only meeting between the two, Butler defeated Eastern 6-3 at Coaches Stadium in April.

Though players from both teams have left and the location is different, Eastern head coach Jason Anderson expects to have another tough performance from Butler.

“Butler is a very sound team that plays the game the right way,” he said.

Anderson also pointed out that the Panthers have played well in midweek games, saying those games are where Eastern scores most of its runs.

Eastern has scored 32 runs in three midweek games (10.7 per game), which is also 29.6 percent of Eastern’s season run total (108). The Panthers average six runs per game so far this season.

Conversely, though, Anderson said after Eastern’s 14-6 loss to Murray State Sunday that Eastern has a hard time maintaining momentum and has let opponents get back into games and series.

He added that the team has had chances to put teams away early, but managed to let opponents get back into it.

“Pitchers have not put up scoreless innings after we score,” Anderson said. “If we score one, we have given up a run right after.”

A recent example of this was Eastern’s last win, Friday against Murray State.

Eastern’s offense exploded for six runs in the first inning with an early chance to take the game away from the Racers, but Murray State scored three runs of its own in the fourth inning.

The Racers did not score anymore after that, and Eastern added two more in the eighth, but Murray State had the chance to threaten Eastern’s lead after just one inning.

Even back against Western Kentucky Feb. 24, Eastern led 5-0 after the third inning.

But Western Kentucky reeled off five runs in the bottoms of the third and fourth innings to tie the game up at 5.

Then in the top of the fifth inning of the game, Alex Stevenson singled to right field to score Matt Mackey, but Western Kentucky scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 9-6 lead and eventually win the game 10-9.

Eastern’s pitching has not quite settled in yet this season, but it has shown flashes of the potential it carries.

“We have had a few key pitchers struggle, but we have good depth,” Anderson said. “Once this group gets settled into roles and we start playing some home games, they will get past that.”

Overall so far this season, Eastern’s pitching staff has a combined 5.58 era and has given up 98 earned runs out of 116 total runs.

That first home game was supposed to be Tuesday, but Eastern will face Butler on the road at 3 p.m.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]