Baseball team drops weekend set to slugging Racers

Ryan Meyer, Baseball Reporter

The Eastern baseball team lost a three-game series against Murray State this weekend in the first conference series of the season, making their conference record 1-2 with an overall record of 9-7.

Eastern lost 9-2 Friday afternoon and won the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 14-10 before losing 15-5 in the second game of the day.

A steady stream of runs by Murray State in game one earned them the win as Eastern was held to two runs on six hits.

Third baseman Dalton Doyle sparked a comeback in the second game of the series with a home run in the bottom of the second inning that was followed by hits in the third inning by first baseman Christian Pena and catcher Chase Rademacher. The Panthers didn’t give up the lead for the rest of the game.

Game three saw Eastern with a 4-2 lead after four innings, but Murray State blew the game open with an 8-run top of the fifth off of four home runs.

Home runs were the theme of the weekend, as the Racers hit 13 home runs in the series, with seven of them coming in the third game. Eastern hit four in the series, and Doyle hit his third of the season to tie shortstop Trey Sweeney for most on the team.

Amid the losses, there were highlights. In the win rightfielder Logan Eickhoff drove in three runs off three doubles and stole a base, while winning pitcher Cameron Doherty gave up six hits and a walk in six innings pitched.

Gunner Smith continued to stand out in pinch-hit and substitution opportunities, hitting a home run in the win and a double in Saturday’s second game, to go with his pinch-hit double in Tuesday’s win against Bellarmine.

Sweeney’s hitting streak didn’t continue into the Murray State series, as he was 1 for 8 in the series after a strong start to the season.

Eastern used 11 pitchers in the series, with a combined nine in the losses. The standouts were the aforementioned Doherty and Ryan Ignoffo, who had four strikeouts in one inning pitched.

Eastern will travel play Tennessee Tech, which is 5-5 overall and 2-1 in conference, for a three-game series this weekend.

Eastern didn’t play Tennessee Tech in 2020 before the pandemic ended the season, but in 2019 they swept the Golden Eagles while scoring 41 runs in three games.

 

Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]