The top of the order came through for the Eastern baseball team in its 9-7 win over Illinois State Wednesday night.
The first four hitters for the Panthers, Lucas DiLuca, Logan Eickhoff, Trey Sweeney and Ryan Knernschield, went a combined 10-for-17 and accounted for all 9 RBI in the game.
DiLuca was 2-for-3 with 2 walks from the leadoff spot and scored 2 runs. Eickhoff was 2-for-5 with a triple, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Sweeney was 4-for-4 with a walk and hit a double and home run, his sixth of the season. He drove in three runs, as did Knernschield, who was 2-for-5.
The Panthers scored 3 runs in the top of the first inning, but the Redbirds tied the score at three by the end of the second.
Eastern added 4 runs in the fourth and 2 more in the sixth. Illinois State scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings, and with a pair of runs in the seventh, cut Eastern’s lead to 9-7.
Ryan Ignoffo and Alex Stevenson shut the door from there, combining to allow three hits while striking out 7 batters over the final 2.2 innings. Ignoffo picked up the win.
Eastern will be at home for a three-game series against Southeast Missouri this weekend.
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