Eastern in 9th as season enters final month

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

There is about a month left for the baseball teams of the OVC before the conference tournament begins.

With only four spots in the tournament, the teams in contention have limited time to secure their spot in the postseason.

Morehead State is holding on to the top spot in the standings with a conference record of 10-5.

The Golden Eagles have the fifth-most runs in the OVC with 231 and their 43 home runs rank third. Their pitching is ranked in the bottom half of the conference in ERA, ranking seventh with a 5.87 ERA.

Behind Morehead State in the standings is a pair of 11-7 teams in Murray State and Southeast Missouri.

Murray State is the top home run hitting team in the conference, having hit 50 home runs so far this season. The Racers’ 241 runs rank second in the OVC.

They also have the third-best team ERA in the OVC at 5.38 and are the hottest team in the OVC, having won five-straight games overall and four-straight conference matchups.

The Redhawks are near the top of the standings despite having scored the third-fewest runs in the OVC and ranking sixth in the conference in team ERA.

Currently occupying the fourth and final tournament spot is Belmont with a conference record of 11-10. Austin Peay is also 11-10 and sits in fifth.

Belmont ranks fourth in team ERA this season with a mark of 5.41 while scoring 222 runs, the sixth most in the OVC.

Austin Peay’s team ERA of 6.34 is the second worst in the OVC and they rank eighth in runs scored with 192.

Despite being above .500 in conference play, the Governors own the second-worst overall record in the OVC thanks to a punishing nonconference schedule.

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Jacksonville State are both 9-9 and are in sixth and seventh place respectively.

The Cougars are the top slugging team in the OVC with a team slugging percentage of .459 and rank fourth the OVC with 41 home runs.

The Gamecocks find themselves in seventh place despite having a 4.45 team ERA, the best in the OVC. They are also a productive hitting team, ranking third with 238 runs this season.

The bottom four teams in the standings are Tennessee-Martin at 7-8, Eastern at 9-12, Tennessee Tech at 7-11 and Eastern Kentucky at 7-14.

Eastern has the top-scoring team in the OVC with 262 runs, 21 more than the closest team, but their team ERA of 6.11 is the third-worst in the OVC.

Eastern Kentucky has lost four-straight conference games, the longest active streak in the OVC.

The top individual offensive player in the OVC this season has been Eastern shortstop Trey Sweeney. He is slashing .415/.539/.756, leading the OVC in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Sweeney’s 11 home runs are tied for second in the OVC with Murray State’s Brock Anderson, whose teammate Jordan Cozart leads the OVC with 13 home runs.

On the pitching side, Jacksonville State’s Christian Edwards and Southeast Missouri’s Dylan Dodd rank first and second in the OVC respectively in both ERA and strikeouts.

Edwards is 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 59.2 innings while Dodd is 4-1 with 71 strikeouts in 56.1 innings.

Eastern’s Ky Hampton leads the OVC with 63.2 innings pitched, thanks in part to a complete game 3-hit shutout he threw April 23.

That performance also earned Hampton OVC Pitcher of the Week honors Monday.

 

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