OVC baseball update as conference play nears

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The conference season is scheduled to begin March 12 for most of the baseball teams of the OVC.

The conference season was cut short, very short, last season when teams were only able to play three conference games before the season was canceled.

The teams are aiming to play a full season this year and have had varying degrees of success in their slate of non-conference games to open the season.

Eastern has played 13 games, the most in the conference, and hold the best record in the OVC by winning percentage. Also, the Panthers’ eight wins are three more than the next-closest team.

They open conference play March 12 against Murray State and then will play a double header the following day.

They have won all four of their series this season, beating Nicholls State, Little Rock, Bellarmine and Kansas State by winning two-of-three games in each series.

Eastern’s three-game winning streak is the second-longest in the conference behind Southern Illinois-Edwardsville’s four-game streak.

The Cougars are also the only other team in the OVC that is above .500 this season. Their record so far is 5-4.

After a tough start against Illinois State and Wichita State, the Cougars won a single game against Saint Louis and then swept South Dakota State in a three-game set.

Eastern’s first opponent, Murray State, is currently riding the longest-losing streak in the conference at four games.

The first three losses of this stretch came against Arkansas, the top-ranked team in the nation. The fourth loss came against Louisville, which is the No. 10 team in the nation.

The top individual position player so far has been Eastern’s Trey Sweeney. The redshirt-sophomore shortstop leads the conference in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, RBI, total bases, doubles, triples and home runs.

On the mound, the OVC’s best pitcher so far has likely been Southeast Missouri’s Dylan Dodd.

The senior lefty leads the conference in innings pitched and strikeouts while ranking third with an ERA of 2.37.

Eastern’s top pitcher has been Trevor Nicholson, who ranks fifth in the OVC in ERA, second in strikeouts and fourth in innings pitched. He also has the lowest opposing batting average in the conference this season.

 

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