Panther offense explodes in weekend sweep

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

Scoring runs was not a problem for the Eastern baseball team over the weekend, as the Panthers swept a conference series on the road against Tennessee Tech.

The series sweep is the first for the Panthers (11-11, 5-4) this season, and the Golden Eagles (11-12, 2-7) only threatened Eastern’s chances of winning in the second game, losing to Eastern 13-12.

Over the Panthers’ three wins, they averaged 13.6 runs per game and totaled 41 runs (13-2, 13-12, 15-5).

“This is the most unselfish group I’ve ever coached,” said Eastern head coach Jason Anderson. “We really put together team at-bats and kept the pressure on (Tennessee Tech) the entire weekend.”

Eastern’s prolific offense is further exemplified by the hit totals between the games, which equaled out to the Panthers getting 47 hits between the three games (15.6 per).

Eastern’s pitching staff did its job in the wins as well, only giving up seven combined runs in Eastern’s two blowout wins.

“We pitched well, played good defense and got clutch hits,” Anderson said. “It’s tough to lose when you accomplish all three.”

Eastern got a scare from Tennessee Tech in the second game of the series, and the Golden Eagles fell short by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Eastern dominated the game early on, scoring all their runs between the  second and fifth innings. The Panthers led 13-3 after the fifth inning.

Grant Emme led Eastern, going 2-for-5 at the plate with five RBIs.

Emme hit a double down the left field line in the fourth inning on a 2-1 count, scoring Jimmy Govern and Tyler Tesmond.

He also hit a base-clearing triple in the fifth inning to right center field on an 0-2 count, bringing in Govern, Tesmond and Trey Sweeney for the rest of his five RBIs.

But after the fifth inning, the Golden Eagles started a near-complete comeback with prolific hitting resembling that of what Eastern did the entire weekend.

Tennessee Tech scored one run in the fifth inning, two in the sixth inning, four in the eighth inning and two in the ninth.

All nine of those runs came from home runs.
Tennessee Tech’s Ja Hinchman hit a two-run home run to left center field on a 2-0 count with one out to bring Tennessee Tech to within one run.

The Golden Eagles managed to get two more runners on base after the home run, but the final two batters struck out and field out to end the game.

Spenser Dexter (2-1) got his second win of the season in the game, and Blake Malatestinic got his first save.

Michael Yasenka (2-3) got his second win of the season in the first game of the series, and Foster Anshutz (4-0) stayed perfect with his fourth win in the final game of the series.

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