Baseball team wins 2-of-3 to open season

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

After missing over 11 months of action, the Eastern baseball team opened its 2021 season on the road against Nicholls State, playing a doubleheader Saturday and the finale Sunday.

The Panthers lost the first game, but won the next two to take the season-opening series from the Colonels.

In the first game, Eastern jumped out to a 4-0 lead before allowing 11-straight runs to Nicholls State. Eastern would not scored after the fourth inning and lost 11-4.

Redshirt-sophomore Logan Eickhoff drove in two of the Panthers’ runs with a single in the fourth inning and recorded two of Eastern’s five hits in the game.

Cameron Doherty got the start on the mound for Eastern, allowing 3 runs in 4 innings.

Jason DeCicco came in to pitch the fifth inning, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits in the frame. DeCicco picked up the loss for Eastern.

Nicholls State scored three more runs off Kyle Lang two off Mack Hickman in the seventh and eighth innings.

Eastern bounced back in game two of the doubleheader, winning 4-3. All three of Nicholls State’s runs were unearned in the game.

Junior transfer and Australia native Ky Hampton picked up his first win as a Panther, pitching 6 innings while allowing just 2 hits and 1 unearned run.

The final three innings were pitched by redshirt-senior Alex Stevenson, who 1 hit and 2 unearned runs while striking out 7 batters.

Offensively, the Panthers were led in the game by redshirt-senior Ryan Knernschield and redshirt-junior Dalton Doyle, who each drove in a run. Both of those runs were scored by redshirt-senior Christian Pena.

It was not until Sunday’s game that an Eastern player hit a home run, and it came at a very important time.

Redshirt-sophomore shortstop Trey Sweeney pulled one over the right field fence in the top of the 10th inning, putting the Panthers ahead 3-2 and clinching the win.

Prior to extra innings, Eastern had scored on RBI singles from Pena in the third inning and Knernscheld in the eighth, which tied the game 2-2.

The starting pitcher for the Panthers was Trevor Nicholson, who pitched 6 innings and allowed just 4 hits and 2 runs, only one of which was earned.

Redshirt-senior Foster Anshutz pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th to pick up the save.

The Panthers play again Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Southern Illinois.


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